Iraq cuts off oil

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Apr 8 06:45:52 MDT 2002

Guardian, Monday April 8, 2002
Iraq suspends oil exports

Mark Tran and agencies

Iraq today jolted the oil markets by declaring an immediate halt to oil
exports for a month, or until Israel stops its offensive against the
The move, announced by Saddam Hussein in a nationally televised speech,
immediately sent prices of crude oil up by $1 to $27.35. In recent days,
oil prices have risen to a six-month high, partly because of a pickup in
the global economy, but also because of concern over the fallout from the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Iraq first raised the prospect of using oil as a weapon early last week, a
call that was quickly seconded by Iran, its traditional regional rival. But
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, Hamid Reza Asefi, later tempered that
message by ruling out any unilateral moves.

"This is not a decision that one country alone can make. It would be
efficient if all Islamic and Arab countries cooperated on this issue," Mr
Asefi said.

However, today Libya jumped on the oil as a weapon bandwagon.

"The great Jamahiriya [Libyan republic] supports Iran's call to stop oil
supplies to countries that back the Zionist entity," the Libyan news agency
Jana reported, quoting an unnamed government official.


Louis Proyect
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