Saddam free to resume oil exports

For the first time since its invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Iraq is free to resume limited exports of oil on to world markets under an oil-for-food agreement with the United Nations which received final approval from the Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros Ghali, yesterday. Impoverished by the embargo placed on it after the Gulf war, Iraq will be permitted to sell $2bn (pounds 1.3bn) of oil over six months and use the proceeds to buy food and medical supplies. The outflow of oil, which will amount to roughly 600,000 barrels a day, compared to 3 million before the war, and the inflow of humanitarian goods will be monitored by UN personnel. Mr Boutros-Ghali agreed to the deal after Baghdad agreed to the conditions last month. The first oil could be flowing by Thursday.

David Usborne -New York