It is important to understand that the Iraqi Regime used both sanctioned and unsanctioned trade to buy influence and gain allies.But Iraq’s intent to circumvent sanctions by no means incriminates those who may have in some cases unwittingly provided unsanctioned commodities to Iraq.
Because this chapter deals with Iraq’s international trade and finance, half of the picture rests with entities outside Iraq—countries, companies, and individuals.We name those individuals and entities here in the interest of candor, clarity, and thoroughness.But it is not in ISG’s mandate or capabilities to investigate or judge those non-Iraqi individuals or entities.Although Saddam had reluctantly accepted the UN’s Oil for Food (OFF) program by 1996, he soon recognized its economic value and additional opportunities for further manipulation and influence of the UNSC Iraq 661 Sanctions Committee member states.Therefore, he resigned himself to the continuation of UN sanctions understanding that they would become a “paper tiger” regardless of continued US resolve to maintain them.We would like to emphasize that this report does not intend to analyze or assess the legal implications for non-Iraqis.[Top of page] Throughout the 1990s and up to OIF (March 2003), Saddam focused on one set of objectives: the survival of himself, his Regime, and his legacy.Key Findings Directing and Budgeting Iraq’s Illicit Procurement Financing Iraq’s Illicit Procurement Executing Illicit Procurement in Iraq: Ministries, Commissions, and Front Companies Supplying Iraq With Prohibited Commodities Importing Prohibited Commodities Deceptive Trade Practices Supporting Illicit Procurement Use of Illicit Smuggling and Transportation Networks A. The Procurement of Conventional Military Goods in Breach of UN Sanctions K.Translations of Iraq’s Bilateral Trade Protocols B. Suspected Intermediary and Front Companies Associated With Iraq L.To secure those objectives, Saddam needed to exploit Iraqi oil assets, to portray a strong military capability to deter internal and external threats, and to foster his image as an Arab leader.Saddam recognized that the reconstitution of Iraqi WMD enhanced both his security and image.