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No targets in Iraq justify military strike: Russian arms expert

Anyone know if this Kuntsevich person is respected? "The" chemical weapons
advisor to Kofi Annan, or just one of them?



 No targets in Iraq justify military strike:
 Russian arms expert 

 MOSCOW, Feb 4 (AFP) - Iraq has no stocks of weapons
 of mass destruction or storage facilities for them which
 could be targeted in a military strike, a senior Russian
 chemical weapons expert told Interfax Wednesday. 

 Anatoly Kuntsevich, chemical weapons adviser to UN
 Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said the United States and its
 allies "have no targets in Iraq that justify destruction." 

 Iraq now has no stocks of chemical, biological or nuclear
 weapons, nor the means to produce them, Kuntsevich said,
 according to the Russian news agency. 

 Referring to the controversial so-called presidential sites,
 which the UN wants opened up to inspection, Kuntsevich
 said they could not be used to produce or store weapons of
 mass destruction. 

 The United States has threatened to use military force if Iraq
 continues to deny access to the sites to inspectors of the UN
 Special Commission on Iraqi disarmament (UNSCOM). 

 Kuntsevich did not rule out that Iraq had several laboratories
 developing protection against chemical weapons, but he said
 such facilities were not banned by the United Nations and
 the quantity of substances produced there posed no threat. 

 Kuntsevich also criticised the composition of UNSCOM,
 saying the experts led by Richard Butler "are mainly
 professional diplomats who often cannot draw correct
 conclusions with regard to the facilities inspected." 

 Russian President Boris Yeltsin strongly warned Washington
 Wednesday against resorting to military means to force Iraqi
 compliance with UN resolutions adopted after Baghdad's
 1990 invasion of Kuwait. 


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