Skip to comments.French and Russians 'took cash from Iraq'
Posted on 10/06/2004 7:05:38 PM PDT by Pikamax
French and Russians 'took cash from Iraq'
Ewen MacAskill, Jamie Wilson and David Pallister Thursday October 7, 2004 The Guardian
France and Russia were last night accused of accepting oil revenues from Saddam Hussein in expectation that they would use their influence on the UN security council to help Iraq, according to the Iraq Survey Group. The US state department and the Foreign Office have long hinted that the two countries were motivated by financial gain.
The ISG report contains a list of individuals in both countries and elsewhere who are alleged to have been recipients of Iraq's oil revenues. The US held back some of the names in the report.
The report says: "Saddam's regime, in order to induce France to aid in getting sanctions lifted, targeted friendly companies and foreign political parties that possessed either extensive business ties to Iraq or held pro-Iraq positions. In addition, Iraq sought out individuals whom they believed were in a position to influence foreign policy."
A French foreign ministry spokeswoman refused to comment on the allegations until the report had been studied. France was fully cooperating with a UN investigation into the running of the oil for food programme, she said.
The claim will exacerbate relations between the US and France, which have been at a low point since Paris refused to support the war. An Iraq paper in January published a list of individuals alleged to have benefited from Iraq's oil-for-food programme, but the ISG goes further. Citing Iraqi intelligence, it claims that in 1988, Iraq paid $1m (£588,000) to the French Socialist party and that the then Iraqi ambassador to Paris, Razzaq al-Hashimi, handed the money to the then French defence minister, Pierre Joxe.
The report said Iraq's deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, "personally awarded several French individuals substantial oil allotments".
According to Mr Aziz, both parties understood the resale of the oil was to be reciprocated through efforts to lift UN sanctions or through opposition to American initiatives.
On Russia, the report says: "Iraq[i] attempts to use oil gifts to influence Russian policymakers were on a lavish and almost indiscriminate scale."
Mr Aziz said Iraq agreed a payment of around $15m to a Russian agent. Payment was agreed by Saddam and was due to be paid in installments in 2002.
You mean the very folks Kerry would look to for help with Iraq are....dare we say, unreliable?
brings new meaning to the phrase "coalition of the bribed"
Shows why they weren't interested in getting Saddam out of power. They had a sweet deal.
Our friends at the Kremlin PING!
I'm shocked I tell ya, just shocked. HEAVY SARCASM! The UN what's it good for?...absolutely nothing.
Will the American media cover it???
Nah, it helps Bush and it's old news, Dick Morris even goes into it on the farenhype 911 dvd. He said Bush would never have won at the UN because the jury was rigged.
So much for passing a global test.
I have a number of Lefty friends who actually thought that the French and Russians were against the war because of their lofty and enlightened principles. Sad.
What's the lesson here Kerry? I'll tell you what it is: you are not going to pass the "Global test" unless you are willing to fork out cash to French and the Russians. Will you put America's security in the hands of such "allies?" You won't have the chance if I can help it.
Wasn't Klinton-pardoned Marc Rich among the beneficiaries?
The Guardian just noticed?
This stuff has been around for years, for anyone who paid the least bit of attention, and it was only too obvious when the French and Russians tried to use their Security Council vetoes to block the American invasion of Iraq.
Chirac has been one of Saddam's best friends ever since he sold him that nuclear power plant.