Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar announced Friday that no more than 30 percent of Iraq's future oil profits may be used to pay compensation to victims in its invasion of Kuwait.
The actual percentage will be set later by the U.N. Compensation Commission and reviewed periodically. But it is expected to be close to the 30 percent Perez de Cuellar announced Friday.Perez de Cuellar made the announcement in a report issued late Friday. The report projected annual Iraqi oil exports at $21 billion by 1993.
Those exports are expected to be closely monitored after the world body lifts its oil embargo and other economic sanctions imposed to punish the Baghdad government for its Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait.
However, sanctions are not likely to be lifted in the near future because Iraq has yet to meet other truce conditions imposed by the Security Council, including the destruction of its weapons of mass destruction.
U.S. and British officials have said they will not support the lifting of sanctions until Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is out of power.
The United States had urged that Iraq pay 40 percent to 50 percent of its future oil profits to compensate its victims, while developing nations had urged payment equivalent to 5 percent to 10 percent of its oil revenue.
Perez de Cuellar disclosed the 30 percent figure in a report to the Security Council.
His goal was to provide adequate compensation to Iraq's enemies and still leave Baghdad enough money to rebuild the nation's economy, which was shattered by the allies' bombing, invasion and trade sanctions.
Under a cease-fire resolution of April 3, Iraq is required to pay a percentage of its future oil profits to compensate its victims.
That includes individuals, governments and corporations.
Payments would cover environmental damage from the oil Iraq deliberately spilled into the Persian Gulf, the loss of revenue Kuwait suffered when Iraq blew up and set fire to its oil wells, and the loss of wages to scores of thousands of foreigners who fled Kuwait after the Iraqi invasion.
The payments also would cover other property damage in Kuwait.
The process of adjudication, attachment of Iraqi oil profits and eventual payment is expected to be complicated and daunting.