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Iraqi letter to Annan fuels fresh fears By David Usborne, Arab News NEW YORK/BAGHDAD, 15 November 2002 — Signals from Iraq that its welcome for international inspectors will be less than overwhelming when they arrive in the country to seek out weapons of mass destruction fueled fresh fears yesterday that the process could quickly unravel and give Washington grounds to press for military invasion. The concern stemmed from a closer reading of the letter it delivered to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday. The letter accepts a UN resolution, passed unanimously by the Security Council one week ago, demanding that it disarm and accept inspectors. But the missive, penned by Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri is laced with admonitions to the inspectors to respect Iraqi sovereignty. An advance team, headed by chief UN inspector Hans Blix and by Muhammad Al-Baradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency will arrive in Baghdad on Monday. “Dealing with the inspectors, the government of Iraq will also take into consideration their way of conduct, the intentions of those who are ill-intentioned amongst them, and their improper approach in showing respect to the people’s national dignity, their independence and security,” Sabri warned. And in an ominous sting in the tail to the letter, Sabri served notice that he would be dispatching a follow-up letter to Annan highlighting the “measures and procedures” outlined in the Security Council resolution, that Iraq considers to be “contrary to international law” and the UN Charter. Annan was unwilling to say whether the dark language used by the Iraqis was “an indication that they are going to play games,” when questioned by journalists in Washington. There were also fresh signs yesterday that Iraq may again try to drive a wedge between members of the Security Council. The first test may come on Dec. 8 when Iraq is obliged to account for all of its weapons programs. If it reiterates claims made in the letter of acceptance that it has no such weapons, the US may interpret that as non-compliance and press other UN members to sanction war. (The Independent) _________________________________________________ Maktoob introduces free Internet, Call now 077- 0303 from Cairo or 0908-0303 from outside Cairo _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk