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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government said Wednesday it was lifting some longstanding economic sanctions against Iraq to help efforts to rebuild the country and provide humanitarian aid.
Treasury Secretary John Snow announced the action, which he said followed instructions by President Bush.
"The easing of U.S. sanctions will bring much needed aid and humanitarian relief to the Iraqi people as they begin the process of rebuilding their lives after more than two decades of brutal dictatorship," Snow said.
Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which has been enforcing the sanctions against Iraq, will be lifting certain restrictions, he said. The action will allow humanitarian aid funded by the United States as well as privately funded aid to flow to the country and allow people in the United States to send up to $500 a month to friends and family in Iraq.
However, the export of certain goods controlled for national security purposes will require a special government license, Snow said.
A wide range of economic sanctions on Iraq have been in place since Aug. 2, 1990, following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The sanctions were ordered by the first President Bush.
Now that Saddam is out of power, U.S. officials say some of the restrictions are no longer needed.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)