Iraq: Oil-For-Food Program, International Sanctions, and Illicit Trade [Updated August 2, 2004] [open pdf - 92KB]
"The 'oil-for-food' program was the centerpiece of a long-standing U.N. Security Council effort to alleviate human suffering in Iraq while maintaining key elements of the Gulf war-related sanctions regime. In order to ensure that Iraq remained contained and that only humanitarian needs are served by the program, the program mandated substantial controls on Iraqi oil exports and humanitarian imports. All Iraqi oil revenues earned under the program were held in a U.N.-controlled escrow account and were not accessible to the regime of Saddam Hussein. The program has terminated now that Saddam Hussein's regime has fallen, an Iraqi government assumed sovereignty on June 28, 2004, and Saddam-era United Nations sanctions have been lifted. However, since the fall of the regime, there have been new allegations of misuses of the program, including allegations that politicians and businessmen in numerous countries received illicit proceeds from the program. Several investigations, including one by the United Nations, have been spawned by these allegations. This product will be updated as warranted by major developments. See also CRS Report RL31339, Iraq: U.S. Regime Change Efforts and Post-Saddam Governance."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30472