The lifting of the United Nations’ Chapter 7 sanctions against Iraq is receiving mixed reaction among Iraqis, with some welcoming the move and others worried about its impact, given existing ethnic, sectarian and political tensions.
Minorities have been especially concerned, apprehensive that the Iraqi government — without a leash – could turn into yet another threat, paving the way to renewed dictatorship.
Labeed Abbawy, Iraq’s former deputy foreign minister, believes that the move will enhance Iraq’s diplomatic and political ties.
“Iraq can now have normal relations and sign all sorts of treaties with other countries of the world,” says Abbawy. “We were not getting invitations from the international conferences and some countries would even deny visa to our Iraqi diplomats,” he explains.
Amir Hassan Fayaz, head of the political science department at Nahrein College, believes that the lifting of sanctions will have both negative and positive consequences.
“The positive effects will be Iraq’s ability to use the oil revenues freely, because now part of Iraq’s oil revenues goes to Kuwait as reparations for the (1990) invasion and the rest goes to Iraq’s reconstruction fund.