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Moscow's Reaction to Iraq Accepting U.N. Resolution

Aired November 13, 2002 - 11:50   ET


LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: There should be some reaction to this notification by Iraq coming from around the world. Let's check in, we begin by going to Moscow. That's where our Jill Dougherty is standing by.
Hello, Jill.

I understand it's about almost 8:00 in the evening there. Any reaction at this late hour?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF: Well, we've been talking with them at the foreign ministry. There's nothing official yet, and they're saying there might not be anything tonight, but we do know -- in fact, we had a briefing today with the deputy foreign minister, and it's obvious that this news that this news that the Iraqis have accepted the resolution is exactly what the Russians wanted to hear. They had been telling the Iraqis, and they said, we know that it's very difficult, as Mr. Fadota (ph) put it, very difficult for public opinion in Iraq to have to go through all of this, but we're telling them, the Russians say, we're telling the Iraqis that this is your best chance for peace, and in other words, take it now.

So if they actually have taken it now, then of course, step two comes, and that's where the gray area comes in, as everybody has been referring to.

As we were talking with the deputy foreign minister today, saying what if, what if, what if, let's say, what if the inspectors go in, and there is an obvious attempt to interfere. Well, the Russians would have to agree that that would be very serious, but the Russians are pushing for everything to be done through the United Nations. They do not like any unilateral action by the United States. Also, Mr. Fadota (ph) was saying, what if there are little things, like what if a tire blows or something that's not deliberate, then what do you do?

In fact, we're just hearing from one of our producers, Ryan Chilcote, that there has been a statement. Mr. Fodota (ph) is saying that they are hailing that decision by the Iraqis. And obviously, that is what we've been saying, that they would be very happy to hear this, but the real question mark comes in when those inspectors go in, that they obviously want those inspectors in as soon as possible. That's what the Russians have been saying. But once they get there, what if there are small things happen, what if cars break down, is that considered serious? The zero tolerance program that has been outlined by President Bush would seem to say that anything, even if it's a small infraction, might be considered serious. The Russians seem more prepared to say, well, we'll have to look at it individually, but the bottom line is that the Russians want all of this to go through the United Nations, that inspectors would go back, give their reports, and then the United Nations would decide on what to do -- Leon.

HARRIS: Jill Dougherty, reporting for us live from Moscow.

Thank you, Jill.

Now let's go on now and continue to get reaction to this announcement, this acceptance by Iraq of the U.N. resolution passed last Friday.

Our Kyra Phillips is checking in right now. She is standing by in Kuwait City, where she's been there on duty, and prepared to report on other matters. Let's go to her now on this.

Kyra, any chance at all that you may have heard something about this there, at your post?

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Leon, what I can talk about to you is troops and training. That's what I've been doing basically in the past month, is observing military forces get ready for a possible war against Iraq. What I can tell you is that military forces tell me that a war plan for Iraq is ready. And if it were to happen, it would happen by quick strikes and by huge force.

I want to point also another major aspect to this war plan, and it's a dual nature of this will possible U.S. war against Iraq, and that it's designed to encourage Iraqis to also revolt against President Saddam Hussein. You may recall in a recent interview, an official was quoted as saying that the plan aims to create the conditions under which Iraqis can do that. He went on to say he thinks it's ultimately more of a revolution that's going to happen rather than something brought on by U.S. military power.

But I can tell you from my own experience, specifically in the past week, as I've been traveling throughout the Persian Gulf, I was able to observe special operations training. The Navy special warfare has been out training on a regular basis. I was able to observe the Navy SEALS, the crewmen who were out there in the water, training in Mark V and other specialty watercraft. Also, lots of weapons training going on, 50-caliber machine guns, grenade launchers, and if indeed the president of the United States say a war must take place against Iraq, these troops are ready, Leon, and they're ready to go at a moment's notice.

HARRIS: Thank you, Kyra. Make sure you be careful on your post there at Kuwait City. We appreciate that .


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