UN Security Council agrees on sanctions against Iraq

Associated Press WriterWASHINGTON (AP) -- The United Nations Security Council's five permanent members have agreed on a new system of sanctions against Iraq, the White House said Tuesday.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer announced the action in Washington. "This is a step forward," he said.

He said the move would be discussed by the full Security Council and voted on this week.

Fleischer cheered the move as beneficial to the people of Iraq, but said they would not see the full benefit if Saddam Hussein "continues to manipulate" the oil-for-food program.

"He undermines the program with illicit oil sales and schemes to force buyers to provide cash kickbacks," Fleischer said.

The Bush administration has sought to overhaul Iraqi sanctions, saying the oil-for-food program has been exploited so often that the sanctions are like "Swiss cheese."

He did not provide details of the changes being made to the sanctions, except to say they would tighten controls over efforts by Iraq to acquire destructive weapons and allow freer flow of humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people.