'In 1990...the world imposed economic sanctions on Iraq. Those sanctions were maintained after the war to compel the regime's compliance with security council resolutions... Saddam Hussain has [worked] around the sanctions to buy missile technology and military materials.' George Bush in his speech to the UN, 12 September 2002
The United Nations Security Council imposed economic sanctions on Iraq on 6 August 1990, in response to its invasion of Kuwait. Under these sanctions, all imports into Iraq (except medical supplies) and all exports from Iraq were prohibited, unless the Security Council permitted exceptions. A spokesman from the US State Department later referred to these sanctions as 'the toughest, most comprehensive sanctions in history'. Similarly, a Select Committee of the House of Commons said that the Iraqi sanctions regime 'is unprecedented in terms of longevity and its comprehensive nature'.