BAGHDAD — Iraq declared a "holy war" on U.N. sanctions Sunday, calling for a 1-million-strong volunteer force to push for an end to the seven-year embargo it says has caused widespread starvation and death.
"We are determined [to carry out] a great jihad to lift the sanctions," Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan said. "There is no alternative to this after seven years of patience and cooperation with the United Nations and its committees."
The Iraqi News Agency quoted Ramadan as saying 1 million people, men and women, would be given weapons training in a volunteer force beginning next month. Iraq called on its people to enlist for the training earlier Sunday.
Ramadan did not say how they could overthrow the sanctions regime, imposed in 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait.
The United States says the sanctions can be lifted only when U.N. weapons inspectors affirm that Iraq has dismantled all elements of its weapons of mass destruction.