Status Report: A Deepening U.N. Scandal

A congressional committee estimated last week that Saddam Hussein collected more than $20 billion, almost double the previous estimate, by cheating United Nations sanctions. Here's a primer for understanding the controversy, which seems to sweep up more diplomats and businesses every day:

How did Saddam's swindle work? In 1995, the Iraqis suffered from food shortages caused by U.N. sanctions imposed after Gulf War I. The U.N. created the oil-for-food program, which allowed Iraq to sell its oil to alleviate the hardship but stipulated that the revenue could be used for food and medical supplies only. Saddam's government ignored the restrictions. It...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!