The United States, in its first declaration on war reparations, suggested Iraq allocate as much as half of its future oil revenues to compensate for its invasion of Kuwait and waging war in the gulf.
The declaration issued Monday was the first time the United States specified a percentage concerning Iraqi reparations to Kuwait and possibly other countries or individuals who suffered in the war launched by Saddam Hussein.Iraq earned about $15 billion in oil revenues before the war. Oil is Iraq's principal source of income.
The 50 percent figure is higher than a recommendation last Friday by U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, who suggested Iraq set aside 30 percent of its revenues for reparations once a U.N.-imposed international trade embargo is relaxed.
Currently, Iraq is not permitted to sell any of its oil.
"Today, I can confirm for you what our percentage is and what our position has been," State Department spokeswoman Margaret Tutwiler said.
"Concerning the 30 percent level that was recommended by the (U.N.) secretary-general, we do not think . . . is adequate to compensate on a timely basis Kuwaitis and the others who have suffered so grievously at Iraq's hands," she said.
"As a result of the damages incurred, and Iraq's continued repressive policies, we believe the figure suggested is too low."