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Special Event

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz Delivers Statement on 10-Year Anniversary of Persian Gulf War

Aired January 16, 2001 - 11:15 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: I understand there is a press conference we are going to be going to right now. As a matter of fact, this is Tariq Aziz, who is an Iraqi official that we have become quite familiar with over the years. We have seen him speak out for the government in various positions of late.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: He was the foreign minister during the war. This, once again, being the 10th anniversary of the beginning of that war, let's go ahead and listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

TARIQ AZIZ, IRAQI DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (through translator): During that time, as we all remember, there was a lot of talk about what was called Iraq's attack on Kuwait and what was called the international community's will to remove the Iraqi forces from Iraq. That was the portrait of events as was shown that time.

And despite our will to explain the reality, but lies and disinformation and foreign news medias and especially the American ones and some of the Arab media, unfortunately the lies and disinformation was wide-scale, to the extent that so many people believed what was said by those media organizations.

But during the last 10 years, many real events have unfolded. They do not concern Iraq alone, but they're also important to the Arabs and to the whole world.

"Why?" was their question. There are facts -- I have to remind you with. After the aggression, days after the aggression started, the American defense minister at that time and the president -- deputy president-elect -- was in the Pentagon. One of the journalists asked him a question: "Are you sure of winning this war against Iraq?"

He said: "Yes, we are sure because we have been preparing for this war for more than a year."

That time was said in January, 1991. The Iraqi forces entered Kuwait on the 2nd of August in '90. A year before January, '91, means January, 1990. And if you go back to the press archive, you will see that Norman Schwarzkopf was in Kuwait in 1989. And Schwarzkopf was the head of the force special in dealing with crisis in the Gulf, which was established during Carter's administration. HARRIS: We are listening to comments this morning of Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, who basically has had that position since the war, which was 10 years ago -- began 10 years ago tonight as a matter of fact. And making his comments and recollection of what's been happening for the past 10 years as well.

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