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Iraq Will Sue Oil-for-Food Profiteers

The Iraqi government says it will bring lawsuits in American courts against those companies that it alleges profited illegally from the United Nations "Oil-for-Food" program. Between 1996 and 2003, the U.N. suspended sanctions that were in place against Iraq in order to allow the Saddam Hussein government to sell oil in order to buy humanitarian goods. The present government now claims that 2,200 companies paid an total of at least $1.8 billion in bribes to Iraqi officials. A spokesman for the Iraqi government said it sought to hold responsible those who "conspired with Saddam Hussein to embezzle large sums of money through kickbacks, inflated prices and the supply of shoddy goods."