Letter: Humiliating Iraq

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your editorial "These Iraq talks are achieving nothing" (4 August) might as appropriately have been headed "Iraq sanctions achieve nothing". What UN sanctions have achieved is to force the resignation of the UN's own Iraq co-ordinator, Denis Halliday. Appalled by the suffering of the Iraqi people, for which he holds Saddam Hussein and UN sanctions jointly responsible, Mr Halliday has sacrificed his own UN career.

The real problem is that oil producing countries are already suffering from low oil prices. Were Iraq to be allowed once again to export oil freely and to rebuild its shattered infrastructure, the present world oil surplus would increase and prices fall even further. Saudi Arabia would be one of the chief sufferers. It is also the most important Middle East customer of the British Arms Trade.

Is Britain prepared to absorb a substantial loss in its British arms trade earnings in order to end the terrible suffering of the Iraqi people?