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[casi] Iraq blasts 'evil' UN resolution

Sunday, 24 November, 2002, 17:24 GMT
Iraq blasts 'evil' UN resolution

Baghdad has issued a sharp critique of the UN Security Council resolution
which backs the resumption of weapons inspections in Iraq this week.

A letter from Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri to United Nations Secretary
General Kofi Annan says Resolution 1441 is being used as a pretext by the United
States for a premeditated attack on Iraq.

Mr Sabri's letter analyses each of the 13 paragraphs of the resolution text,
highlighting the parts he considers unjust and illegitimate.

Iraqi objections appear to centre mainly on Paragraph 4 of the resolution,
stipulating that "false statements or omissions" in the declaration of its
weaponry "shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq's obligations".

Mr Sabri writes: "Considering any omission by Iraq as a material breach means
that there is premeditation in targeting Iraq under any futile justification.

"This is based on the imaginary presumption that there are weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq.... (which) Iraq has forcefully rejected and the US and
Britain did not present a single proof to back up."

The letter also argues that small inaccuracies among thousands of pages of
documentation which Iraq is having to assemble - under a tight deadline set by the
UN - should not be used as a pretext for war.

Iraq had signalled several weeks ago that it would comment in detail on the
resolution, and Mr Sabri says Iraq will still work with the UN, despite the "evil"
that Resolution 1441 contains.

But he does urge members of the Security Council to ensure that inspectors
stick "to their obligations according to the UN Charter and the UN's goals" so as
to expose Washington's "false accusations".

Hot line

Eighteen weapons inspectors are scheduled to arrive in Baghdad on Monday, and
inspections are expected to resume on Wednesday.

Preparations for their return - after a four-year absence - have been
continuing, with UN technical staff setting up computer and communications'
systems at their Baghdad headquarters.

A hot line link is being set up between the headquarters, in a hotel on the
outskirts of the city, and an Iraqi government liaison agency.

On Saturday, a UN Hercules transport plane landed with 20 metric tons of
equipment on board.

Iraq has until 8 December 2002 to disclose details of its weaponry and other
chemical, biological and nuclear programmes under the terms of the resolution
which was passed earlier this month.

The full text of the letter in Arabic can be found at:

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