Sanctions Profile: Iraq

At a glance

UN sanctions on Iraq were first imposed in 1990, by UN Security Council Resolution 661, in response to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. The current UN Sanctions Committee and regime on Iraq was established in 2003 as the successor to the 1990 committee, by UN Security Council Resolutions 1483 and 1518.

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Those UN Resolutions lift all previous sanctions against Iraq, except for the arms embargo, and prohibits trade in goods belonging to Iraq’s cultural heritage (with the objective of facilitating their safe return), and requires that all proceeds from export sales of petroleum and natural gas from Iraq are transferred to the Development Fund for Iraq. The resolutions also impose asset freezes targeting members of the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and senior officials of his regime.

The EU implemented UN sanctions on Iraq in 2003, by Common Position 2003/495/CFSP and Council Regulation (EC) No 1210/2003.

Summary of Current UN Sanctions:


  • Arms embargo


  • Asset freeze

Designation Criteria

  • Funds or assets of the previous Government of Iraq or its state bodies, corporations, or agencies, located outside Iraq as of the adoption date of UNSC Resolution 1483 (22 May 2003); or
  • funds or assets that have been removed from Iraq, or acquired, by Saddam Hussein or other senior officials of the former Iraqi regime and their immediate family members, including entities owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by them or by persons acting on their behalf or at their direction.

Summary of Current EU Sanctions:


  • Arms embargo
  • Prohibition on trade in goods belonging to Iraq’s cultural heritage
  • Proceeds from export sales of petroleum, natural gas and related products must be deposited into the Development Fund for Iraq
  • Prohibition on the satisfaction of claims in respect of contracts or transactions, the performance of which was affected by measures imposed by UN Security Council Resolution 661 (1990) and related resolutions


  • Asset freeze

Designation Criteria

People and entities designated by the UN Security Council or Iraq Sanctions Committee who:

  1. formed part of the previous Government of Iraq or were controlled by it;
  2. were senior officials of the Saddam Hussein regime;
  3. are immediate members of the families of those senior officials; or
  4. are entities controlled or owned by any of the above.

In addition, assets belonging to the estate of former president Saddam Hussein are frozen.


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UN & EU remove 8 entities from Iraq sanctions list

On 29 January 2019, the UN Security Council removed the following 8 entities from its Iraq sanctions list: General Establishment for Hospitality Affairs; General Establishment for Travel and Tourist Services; National Computer Centre; State Contracting Buildings Company; State Enterprise for Rubber Industries; State Organization for Buildings; State Organization for Tourism; and Al-Huda State Company for […]


UK passes Sanctions (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

The UK has passed the Sanctions (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/26, which make amendments to a number of EU sanctions regimes to ensure (inter alia) that they continue to apply within the UK after Brexit. The Regulations will come into force on exit day.

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UN & EU delist 3 entities from Iraq sanctions

Last week (8 January), the UN Security Council removed 3 entities from its Iraq sanctions list: General Establishment for Designs and Research, State Enterprise for Aluminum Semi Products, and State Enterprise for Cables and Wires. As a result, they will no longer be subject to UN asset freezes. See UN Press Release. The EU implemented […]


UN & EU delist 1 entity from Iraq sanctions

On 27 December 2018, the UN Security Council removed Rayon State Establishment from its Iraq sanctions list. As a result, it will no longer be subject to UN asset freezing measures. See UN Press Release. The EU implemented this delisting today (8 January), see Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/23.


UN & EU delist another entity from Iraq sanctions

Yesterday (13 November 2018), the UN Security Council removed another entity from its Iraq sanctions list: Rafidain Company For Building Dams. As a result, it will no longer be subject to UN asset freezing measures. See UN press release. On 19 November 2018, the EU implemented this delisting, see Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1781.


Current Sanctions



Council Regulation (EC) No 1210/2003

Parent Regulation

Council Regulation (EC) No 1210/2003

Amended by:

Council Regulation (EC) No 1799/2003

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2119/2003

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2204/2003

Commission Regulation (EC) No 924/2004

Commission Regulation (EC) No 979/2004

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1086/2004

Council Regulation (EC) No 1412/2004

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1566/2004

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1087/2005

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1286/2005

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1450/2005

Commission Regulation (EC) No 785/2006

Council Regulation (EC) No 1791/2006

Council Regulation (EC) No 195/2008

Council Regulation (EC) No 175/2009

Council Regulation (EU) No 168/2010

Council Regulation (EU) No 131/2011

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 88/2012

Council Regulation (EU) No 85/2013

Council Regulation (EU) No 517/2013

Council Regulation (EU) No 791/2014

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1398

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1453

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1642

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1695

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/2363

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/44

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/184

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/441

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2217

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/875

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/979

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1025

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1066

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1124

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1218

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1286

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1476

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1661

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1781

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/23

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/51

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/162


Common Position 2003/495/CFSP

Common Position

Common Position 2003/495/CFSP

Amended by:

Common Position 2003/735/CFSP

Common Position 2004/553/CFSP

Common Position 2008/186/CFSP

Common Position 2009/175/CFSP

Council Decision 2010/128/CFSP

Council Decision 2011/100/CFSP

Council Decision 2012/812/CFSP

Council Decision 2014/484/CFSP

Council Regulation (EEC) No 3541/92

Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018

Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (Commencement No 1) Regulations 2018

Sanctions Review Procedure (EU Exit) Regulations 2018

Sanctions (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019