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Iraqi Parliament OKs $400m in Compensation for Americans

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TEHRAN, May 1 (ICANA) – The Iraqi parliament approved paying 400 million U.S. dollars settlement for Americans who claimed they were mistreated by Saddam Hussein's leadership in 1990, a parliament statement said on Saturday.
Sunday, May 01, 2011 11:04:50 PM
Iraqi Parliament OKs $400m in Compensation for Americans

"The Council of Representatives (parliament) approved with majority during its 60th session today on an agreement between the governments of Iraq and the United States to settle claims by Americans affected by the Kuwait invasion in 1990," the statement said, according to Xinua.

The session was attended by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar al- Zebari, Minister of Finance Rafie al-Issawi and the governor of the Iraqi Central Bank Sinan al-Shibibi, who participated in explaining the agreement and answering questions raised by the lawmakers.

The controversial agreement which was signed between the two countries on Sept. 2, 2010, stated to pay 400 million dollars compensation for hundreds of American citizens who claimed they were mistreated when they were held hostages in 1990 during the run-up to the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

The agreement is highly sensitive for many Iraqis who see themselves as victims to Saddam Hussein as well as the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, which they see (invasion) as illegal since it was not clearly authorized by the UN Security Council.

At the end of 1990, Saddam Hussein used hundreds of Americans and other westerners as human shields hoping to stave off a massive attack on Iraq by the United States and its allies' troops after Saddam's forces invaded neighboring Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990.

Settling the claims of the American citizens has been seen as a key requirement by Washington to be willing to push for an end to the UN sanctions (Known as "Chapter 7" sanctions) imposed on Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait.

As part of the security pact named Status of Forces Agreement ( SOFA) signed late in 2008 between Iraq and the United States, the latter committed itself to helping Iraq emerge from Chapter 7.

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