FUNDING FOR THE WMD PROGRAMME
33. The UN has sought to restrict Iraq's ability to generate funds for its chemical,
biological and other military programmes. For example, Iraq earns money
legally under the UN Oil For Food Programme (OFF) established by UNSCR
986, whereby the proceeds of oil sold through the UN are used to buy
humanitarian supplies for Iraq. This money remains under UN control and
cannot be used for military procurement. However, the Iraqi regime continues to
generate income outside UN control either in the form of hard currency or barter
goods (which in turn means existing Iraqi funds are freed up to be spent on other
things).
UN Sanctions
UN sanctions on Iraq prohibit all imports to and exports from Iraq. The UN
must clear any goods entering or leaving. The UN also administers the Oil for
Food (OFF) programme. Any imports entering Iraq under the OFF
programme are checked against the Goods Review List for potential military
or weapons of mass destruction utility.
34. These illicit earnings go to the Iraqi regime. They are used for building new
palaces, as well as purchasing luxury goods and other civilian goods outside the
OFF programme. Some of these funds are also used by Saddam Hussein to
maintain his armed forces, and to develop or acquire military equipment,
including for chemical, biological, nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. We
do not know what proportion of these funds is used in this way. But we have seen
no evidence that Iraqi attempts to develop its weapons of mass destruction and
its ballistic missile programme, for example through covert procurement of
equipment from abroad, has been inhibited in any way by lack of funds. The
steady increase over the last three years in the availability of funds will enable
Saddam to progress the programmes faster.
Iraq's illicit earnings
Year
Amount in $billions
1999
0.8 to 1
2000
1.5 to 2
2001
3
2002
3 (estimate)
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