Saddam Hussein's Efforts to Circumvent Economic Sanctions
Saddam Hussein has illegally imported hundreds of millions of dollars in goods in violation of economic sanctions and outside of the UN's Oil-for-Food program. For example, Iraq has imported fiber optic communications systems that support the Iraqi military.
Iraq has diverted dual-use items obtained under the Oil for Food program for military purposes. For example, Iraq diverted UN approved trucks from humanitarian relief purposes to military purposes, and has used construction equipment to help rebuild WMD-affiliated facilities.
The Iraqi regime illicitly exports hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil each day in flagrant violation of UNSCRs and blatant disregard for the humanitarian well-being of the Iraqi people. In so doing, it has deprived the Iraqi people of billions of dollars in food, medicine, and other humanitarian assistance that would have been provided if the regime had exported the oil under the UN Oil-for-Food program. Instead, Saddam Hussein has used these billions to fund his WMD programs, pay off his security apparatus, and supply himself and his supporters with luxury items and other goods.
In January 2002, President Bush reported to Congress that "as most recently stated in a November 19 UN report, the government of Iraq is not committed to using funds available through the Oil for Food program to improve the health and welfare of the Iraqi people ... Iraq's contracting delays, cuts in food, medicine, educational and other humanitarian sector allocations, government attempts to impede or shut down humanitarian NGO operations in northern Iraq, and Baghdad's delays in the issuance of visas for UN personnel demonstrate that the Iraqi regime is trying to undermine the effectiveness of the program."
Saddam Hussein spends smuggled oil wealth on his lavish palaces and inner circle, rather than on the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people.
Saddam Hussein has used water pumps, piping, and other supplies that could have been used to repair urban sewer and water systems in order to construct moats and canals at his palaces.