The sanctions against Iraq were a near-total financial and trade embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council on the nation of Iraq. They began August 6, 1990, four days after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, stayed largely in force until May 2003 (after Saddam Hussein's being forced from power), and certain portions including reparations to Kuwait persisting later and through the present.
The original stated purposes of the sanctions were to compel Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, to pay reparations, and to disclose and eliminate any weapons of mass destruction.
Initially the UN Security Council imposed stringent economic sanctions on Iraq by adopting and enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 661. After the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, those sanctions were extended and elaborated on, including linkage to removal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), by Resolution 687. The sanctions banned all trade and financial resources except for medicine and "in humanitarian circumstances" foodstuffs, whose import into Iraq was tightly regulated.
Estimates of excess deaths of children during the sanctions vary widely, but range from a minimum of 100,000 to over 500,000 children.See also: Iraqi no-fly zones