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Fermentation beat up confirmed South News Feb 13 Baghdad: Iraq confirmed the fiction of a Washington Post story that it had sought to buy equipment from Russia to make biological weapons on Friday. An Iraqi government spokesman denounced Thursday's report by the Washington Post that U.N. inspectors had found evidence of a Russian deal to sell Iraq equipment, including a 1,100-gallon fermentation vessel that could be used to develop biological weapons. "The U.S. administration aims, by leaking this report to the Washington Post, to thwart the intense efforts Russia is making...to achieve a diplomatic solution to the current problem between Iraq on one side and the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the United States on the other," a Culture and Information Ministry spokesman said. The spokesman, quoted by the Iraqi news agency on Thursday night, said the "leaking of this false information" amounted to "media and diplomatic terrorism" against Russia. The Washington Post newspaper said UN arms inspectors claim to have uncovered evidence of the deal between Moscow and Baghdad. The report quoted unnamed sources saying UN inspectors seized documents that described lengthy negotiations between Russia and Iraq over the sale of a giant fermentation tank, that would ostensibly be used to make protein for animal feed. A "crude invention." was what Russia described the Washington Post story on Thursday. "Russia has never made any deals with Iraq that would violate international sanctions, moreover deals involving supplies of banned technologies," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennady Tarasov told reporters in Moscow. The Iraqi news agency quoted Lieutenant-General Amer Saadi, a presidential adviser, as saying: "Iraqi industrial parties planned in 1995 to build a factory for animal feed and contacted Russian companies to supply them with a fermentation reservoir of 2,000 cubic meters... "This size is suitable for producing industrial animal feed and is not practicable for other dangerous purposes," he said. Saadi said the steps had been taken with the knowledge of UNSCOM and under its supervision. There had been no concealment by Iraq, he added. Saadi said the deal had not gone beyond the initial contact, with no contract signed or meeting held to discuss it. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html