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Iraqi oil assets subject to seizure?

File photo of an uncontrolled natural-gas fire in the Rumaylah oil fields in southern Iraq on March 23, 2003. (rlw/U.S. Army/James P. Johnson/UPI)
File photo of an uncontrolled natural-gas fire in the Rumaylah oil fields in southern Iraq on March 23, 2003. (rlw/U.S. Army/James P. Johnson/UPI) | License Photo

BAGHDAD, June 30 (UPI) -- Oil revenue generated in Iraq is subject to potential seizure because a protective measure against damages from the Gulf War expired, a lawyer said.

The U.N. Security Council in December voted to let protection for oil revenue deposited in a development fund for Iraq, established in 2003, to expire. Iraq is paying Kuwait about 5 percent of its oil revenue as compensation for damages incurred during the first Gulf War and for the theft by the regime of Saddam Hussein of 10 Kuwaiti aircraft.

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Iraq's foreign minister in December said Baghdad was looking for bilateral deals to protect its oil revenue.

Christopher Gooding, a lawyer for Kuwait Airways Corp., told Bloomberg News Iraq's oil revenue was subject to seizure.

"Its trading assets are available worldwide, and it remains our intention to seize Iraqi assets whenever and wherever they are available," he was quoted as saying.

Baghdad owed Kuwait about $21 billion and carries a significant debt load to Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

A review of shipping schedules by Bloomberg indicates Iraq in July is scheduled to ship more than 16 million barrels of crude oil from Turkish ports on the Mediterranean.

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