Iran 'owed billions' from Iraq for 1980s war


The head of Iraq's interim Governing Council has said Iran deserved reparations arising out of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war but left open whether payment would be forthcoming.

"According to the UN, Iran deserves reparations. She must be satisfied," Mr Abdelaziz al-Hakim told a news conference after meeting British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London yesterday.

"Whether we will pay or not is something which we need to discuss further," he added.

Iran has claimed that it is owed $100 billion relating to the 1980s war which was started by Iraq and says that its claim is backed by United Nations resolutions. Iran cites reparations made to Kuwait for the 1990 Iraqi invasion.

Iraq has already seen awards made against it by the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC) of $46.25 billion to corporations, governments and individuals relating to the invasion of Kuwait.

Already some $17.987 billion has paid out of Iraqi oil revenues through the UN Oil-for-Food fund and some $97.9 billion of claims have yet to be processed by the UNCC, of which analysts estimate that additional awards will be around $20 billion to $30 billion.

Mr Hakim also said that all countries should be able to participate in Iraq's reconstruction. Washington has barred opponents of the US-led invasion of Iraq, including France and Germany, from bidding for contracts to rebuild the war-torn country worth about $18.6 billion. Ireland was also been barred from the contracts - a move the Taoiseach said demonstrated the Government's anti-war stance.