Iraq to lose UN protections on oil money

Iraq has six months to reach payment deals with Kuwait and other creditors, a doable but critical task that will make or break the country’s financial foundations.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Zebari takes his seat before the start of a high-level United Nations Security Council meeting at UN headquarters December 15, 2010 in New York City. The Security Council is taking steps to restore Iraq's international standing by lifting sanctions including those that barred the country from obtaining a civilian nuclear program. On July 1, 2011, Iraq was officially free of UN sanctions restricting its oil revenues. (MARIO TAMA/Getty Images)

BAGHDAD - Iraq has six months to come to payment terms with creditors and countries to which it owes at least $22 billion before the UN lifts the immunity that has protected Iraq from becoming financially insolvent.

In the aftermath of Saddam Hussein’s regime, Iraq is still subject to old debts and reparations claims. The immunity, first granted in 2003 by the UN, has been given one-year extensions since 2006, as Iraq's new politicians, facing a deluge of violence and reconstruction needs, have struggled both to find agreement with Kuwait and to create an accountable mechanism for monitoring their own revenues.

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