The US turned a blind eye to the former Iraq regime's $8bn trade in smuggled oil, a new US Senate report says.
The report says the US was well aware of both the smuggling and the kickbacks Iraq solicited from players in the UN's oil-for-food programme.
BBC NEWS | Americas | US 'ignored Iraq oil smuggling'
Documents obtained by CNN reveal the United States knew about, and even condoned, embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein's regime, and did so to shore up alliances with Iraq's neighbors.
Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling - CNN
''The tendency has been to turn a blind eye because the Turks are benefiting from it at a time when the Turks are complaining anyway about sanctions on Iraq,'' one Administration official said. The smuggling is creating jobs and helping the economy of southern Turkey, which has been badly hurt by the trade sanctions. ''While Saddam is making money on it, the Turks and Kurds are too,'' the official said.
IRAQ IS SMUGGLING OIL TO THE TURKS UNDER GAZE OF U.S. - NYTimes.com