print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
In Focus
News by Date
Federal Facts
West Wing

 Home > News & Policies > May 2003

Renewal in Iraq

For Immediate Release
May 8, 2003

Global Message


President Bush has suspended the Iraq Sanctions Act of 1990 imposed by the United States against Iraq's old regime.

The U.S. has also suspended certain unilateral economic sanctions against Iraq as they begin the process of rebuilding their lives after more than two decades of brutal dictatorship.

President George W. Bush says goodbye to Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen in the Oval Office Thursday, May 8, 2003. Also present are National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and Denmark’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ulrik Federspiel.  White House photo by Eric Draper At the President's request, the U.S. Treasury has issued four new general licenses permitting many transactions previously prohibited, including:

  • Licenses allowing those interested in providing humanitarian aid to Iraq to begin doing so immediately;
  • Personal remittances. Friends and family living in the U.S. are now able to contribute cash payments to any person in Iraq for up to $500 per month;
  • Any activity paid for with U.S. government funds to fulfill our obligations under international law to the Iraqi people, including activities by contractors in support of those objectives;
  • Privately funded Humanitarian activities by U.S. entities not specifically in support of government objectives are also permitted.
The regime that was once target of our economic sanctions has been extinguished, and our mission is to now rebuild Iraq. Lifting sanctions is an essential step in providing for the humanitarian and reconstruction needs of Iraq.


The Coalition has a comprehensive approach to identify, assess and eliminate Iraq's WMD programs and delivery systems. The effort is focused on:

  • Interviewing and obtaining the cooperation of key Iraqi personnel;
  • Accessing and assessing sensitive sites; and
  • Obtaining and assessing key documents, computers, and other informational materials.

"As time goes by and the more we learn, I'm sure we're going to discover that the WMD programs are as extensive and as varied as the secretary of States reported in his February address."

Steve Cambone, Defense Department Press Briefing, 5/7/03