A new report from Sweden shows that the UN had full awareness of the Oil-For-Food program’s corruption, but chose to do nothing about it. The Swedish Foreign Ministry released a statement that claims the Swedish delegation brought the kickbacks to the attention of the UN sanctions committee in 2000:
An unidentified Swedish company informed the country’s embassy in Amman, Jordan, in 2000 that
Iraq was demanding 10 percent “fees” on all deals as a way to circumvent U.N. sanctions on Saddam’s regime, according to a Swedish Foreign Ministry document published on the Web site of Swedish Radio.
The document was sent from the embassy in Amman to the Foreign Ministry and Swedish delegation at the
United Nations in December 2000, Swedish Radio said.
The document stated clearly that the extra fees violated U.N. sanctions. But it was “clear that an open Swedish engagement in this issue would negatively affect other Swedish business opportunities” in Iraq, it said.
Anders Kruse, head of the Foreign Ministry’s legal division, said Sweden had forwarded the information to the U.N. committee in charge of sanctions and was told the extra fees were widely known.
Turtle Bay has long claimed ignorance of the problem until the 2003 invasion of Iraq produced reams of evidence of kickbacks and payoffs. Kofi Annan claimed that the UN didn’t audit the OFF program thoroughly enough and never had any awareness of the vast monies being kicked back to Saddam Hussein. This announcement by Sweden makes clear that the UN had both knowledge and evidence of the corruption and a pretty good idea of its scope, but declined to enforce its own sanctions against the dictator.
People who keep claiming that the UN had Saddam “in his box” should take note of this development. The UN had no interest in keeping Saddam in his box or anyone else’s, either. The program had no auditing and little oversight, and it existed to enrich Saddam even while he defied the organization that put money in his pockets. The billions of dollars that he collected from the “humanitarian” program went for more illicit military materiel and more firepower with which to oppress and tyrannize the Iraqi people.
Now the same organization that claimed to keep Saddam in check wants to push Israel aside and keep Hezbollah in check in Lebanon. Does anyone wonder why the Israelis show such great reluctance to accept that proposition?
5 thoughts on “Sweden Warned UN Of OFP Kickbacks, UN Shrugged”
UN Knew of Oil for Food Scandal in 2000
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — The Swedish government knew in 2000 that Saddam Hussein’s government demanded kickbacks from companies participating in the U.N. Oil-for-Food Program, officials and news reports said Tuesday.
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