David Usborne -New York
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.