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Iraq levies oil surcharge

Iraq threw down a new challenge to the United Nations yesterday by announcing that anyone who wants to buy its oil will have to pay a 40-cent surcharge on each barrel directly into an Iraqi bank account. Earlier in the day, however, Iraq had written to the UN, agreeing to its terms for the next phase of the oil-for-food programme. In the letter the foreign minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, said Iraq was accepting the terms 'so that our behaviour is not seen as negative and to expose further those with bad intentions'.

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