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DATE=10/22/1999 TYPE=EDITORIAL TITLE=EDITORIAL: IRAQ VIOLATES SANCTIONS NUMBER=0-08495 CONTENT= Anncr: The Voice of America presents differing points of view on a wide variety of issues. Next, an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government: Voice: Iraq continues to violate the sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council. This month, United States forces serving with the international coalition in the Persian Gulf boarded two Iraqi ships and found petroleum products being taken out of Iraq illegally. Under the U-N oil-for-food program, Iraq is allowed to export billions of dollars' worth of oil. But it must be done under U-N supervision to ensure that the proceeds are used for approved purposes. Most of the money is supposed to be used to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian goods for the Iraqi people. A smaller portion goes toward compensating victims of Iraq's unprovoked invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Perhaps even worse than Iraq's illegal exports of petroleum products, however, are its attempts to export food in violation of the sanctions. Earlier this month, the Kuwaiti coast guard seized three cargo ships sailing from Iraq. They were carrying hundreds of tons of food, as well as clover used for animal feed. The smuggled foodstuffs included dates, licorice, edible grains, and lentils. Of special note were some seventy tons of a grain used to flavor sweets and considered beneficial for nursing mothers. These are facts to keep in mind as officials in Baghdad complain that Iraqi children and others do not have enough to eat and seek to blame the U-N sanctions. Moreover, despite having ample money from the oil-for-food program, the Baghdad regime still refuses to purchase nutritional supplements recommended by the U-N for children and pregnant and nursing mothers. There is no doubt that Iraqi children are suffering. But the primary reason is dictator Saddam Hussein. He continues to put a higher priority on weapons and luxuries than on his country's children. In addition to spending untold amounts of money on arms, including programs to develop nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, Saddam has spent more than two-billion dollars on luxurious palaces and vacation resorts for himself and his ruling clique. Iraqi suffering will end only when Saddam Hussein changes his priorities - or when the government in Baghdad is changed. Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-voa-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. 21-Oct-1999 11:17 AM EDT (21-Oct-1999 1517 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .