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US "Blackmails" Iraq for Military Deal
CAIRO — The Bush administration is holding hostage $50 billion of Iraq's money to pressure the Iraqi government into signing a military deal prolonging the US occupation of the oil-rich country, reported The Independent on Friday, June 6.
According to leaked information, US negotiator are using the existence of $20 billion in outstanding court judgments against Iraq in the US to pressure Baghdad to accept the military deal.
Iraq's foreign reserves are currently protected by a US presidential order giving them immunity from judicial attachment.
But the US side in the talks has suggested that if the UN mandate, under which the money is held, lapses and is not replaced by the new agreement, then Iraq's funds would lose this immunity, costing Iraq the immediate loss of $20 billion.
Washington is able to threaten Iraq with the loss of 40 percent of its foreign exchange reserves as Iraq's independence is still limited by the legacy of UN sanctions and restrictions imposed since the 1991 Iraq's invasion of Iraq.
This means that Iraq is still considered a threat to international security and stability under Chapter Seven of the UN charter.