Iraq will take legal action in US courts against firms and individuals over their alleged violations of a UN oil-for- food programme that came into effect under the regime of former President Saddam Hussein, a government spokesman said Sunday, the dpa reported.
"The Iraqi government has taken this exceptional step due to the damages inflicted on the Iraqi people in order to get compensation from those who benefited illegally from the oil-for-food programme," Iraqi cabinet spokesman, Ali al-Dabagh, said in a statement.
The oil-for-food programme allowed Iraq to sell oil in return for humanitarian and food supplies, then in short supply due to international sanctions imposed on Baghdad after its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
The programme, which was approved by the United Nations and ran until the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, allegedly involved illegal transactions and kickbacks paid to the Saddam regime.
Al-Dabagh did not name the companies and individuals that Iraq would sue.