Iraq has accepted the terms of a new Security Council resolution extending the U.N. humanitarian program in Iraq and will resume oil exports shortly, Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations said Thursday.
Iraq halted exports on June 4 to protest a U.S.-British proposal to overhaul sanctions imposed on the oil-rich nation after it invaded neighboring Kuwait in 1990.
"Everything will be normalized," Iraqi ambassador Mohammed al-Douri said just before signing a memorandum of understanding with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on extending the oil-for-food program for an additional five months.
Al-Douri indicated that it was only a technical matter before Iraq restores its oil exports to a normal level of about 2 million barrels a day.
Facing a veto by Russia Iraq's key ally on the Security Council Britain and the United States dropped their sanctions proposal on Tuesday and instead supported a simple extension of the oil-for-food program, something Baghdad had demanded before it would restart its oil exports.
Created in 1996 as an exemption to the sanctions, the oil-for-food program allows Iraq to export unlimited amounts of oil to purchase food, medicine and other essentials and to pay war reparations.
By Dafna Linzer
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