Iraq - Economic development

The government both controls and participates in petroleum, agriculture, commerce, banking, and industry. In the late 1960s, it made efforts to diversify Iraq's economic relations and to conserve foreign exchange. As an example, it was announced in 1970 that contracts for all planned projects would be awarded to companies willing to receive compensation in crude oil or petroleum products. The government also undertook to build an Iraqi tanker fleet to break the monopoly of foreign oil-transport companies.

Iraq has an estimated foreign debt of more than $87 billion. The imposition of sanctions against Iraq has destroyed all attempts to stabilize Iraq's payments. Iraq also faces reparation claims. Iran is separately pursuing its claim for massive separation payments arising from the 1980– 88 war. Iraq is also obligated by UN resolutions to pay for various UN agency activities.

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