UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended that the UN Security Council agree to ease sanctions against Iraq that were imposed following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
Since the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq was subjected to a decade of crippling sanctions, and nearly a decade-long US occupation. Though some of the worst of the sanctions were eased once the US conquered Iraq, parts of it remain in place to this day.
That includes demands for Iraq to pay billions of dollars in war reparations to Kuwait. On top of what they have already paid, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says that the last of the $11 billion will be paid by 2015.
Even then lifting the rest of the sanctions is going to be a task, as Kuwait has long opposed ending the sanctions outright as part of long-standing border disputes. Tensions between the GCC, which Kuwait is a member of, and the Shi’ite government of Iraq could also make Kuwait reluctant to okay an end to the sanctions, and the UN seems reluctant to do so without them.