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Iraqi Scientific Adviser Talks to Press

Aired December 8, 2002 - 09:59   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Atlanta, CNN's global headquarters. We want to take you to Baghdad now, where a representative of Saddam Hussein is speaking. His name is General Amar Al-Saadi, and he is a scientific adviser to Saddam as Iraq's compliance documents make their way to the U.N. in New York. Let's listen in.
AMAR AL-SAADI, IRAQI SCIENTIFIC ADVISER: The UNMOVIC and to UNMOVIC and the IAEA and the Council, please note the Council is included. Not later than 30 days from the date of this resolution, a currently accurate, full and complete declaration of all aspects of its programs to develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and other delivery systems, such as unmanned aerial vehicles and dispersal systems, et cetera and ends with -- as well as all other chemical, biological and nuclear programs, including any which it claims -- that means Iraq claims -- are for purposes not related to weapons production or material.

Now, at best this is vague. If we take it literally it means all the civil industries under the title, chemical, biological and nuclear. Bearing in mind that we produce every six months a declaration regarding sites subject to monitoring. Now, those sites are about 800 sites included in the monitoring system. They cover all kinds of industrial research and development and other facilities. You will be surprised when you know that the Ministry of Interior is included because it operates water treatment plants and sewage treatment plants, and those plants require chlorine and other chemicals for treatment. Therefore, they're included. Other industries, which consume more than 10-megawatt power of electricity, are included regardless of what kind of production they're engaged in. So that means scores of other activities, which are not related to prescribed programs.

In addition to all research centers, factories or small enterprises belonging even to the private sector, which use what is known as dual use material, chemicals or dual use equipment. Therefore, to give you an example, canneries, which belong mainly to the private enterprise, are included. Breweries are included because they have fermentation process. Therefore, they're included. All the laboratories that belong to hospitals and all the hospitals around the country are included because they have laboratory equipment, which are considered dual use. And I could go on regarding that -- petrol chemical industry, the fertilizer industry, even the food industry, vegetable oil industry, dairy -- dairy products, dairies, which produce cheese because they have fermentation or yogurt. They're included. So when -- what do we understand by this? Even those that Iraq says that they are unrelated to weapons of mass destruction or materials, does it mean all of these, production of slippers as well and various things? So we sought advice from the people who know, or should know at least. That is Dr. Hans Blix of UNMOVIC and Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei of the IAEA. We asked their advice to clarify this paragraph and tell us what exactly is required of us so that we do it. We have only 30 days and 10 days passed until they arrived, that is the 18th and 19th of November. That's when they arrived. And we sought advice from them. To our surprise, they distanced themselves from the resolution, saying that that paragraph they did not take part in its crafting nor did they take part -- nor were they consulted regarding that. And if it were left up to them, they would understand it in a certain way that they would be happy to tell us about. But since it is also intended to the Security Council that is members of the Security Council at large it means that there are different opinions and they do not want to give us advice and to be quoted by us as having got this advice from them. So, the confusion remained and we relied on ourselves to interpret that paragraph the way we thought appropriate. We had only 20 days left to complete that and we did it.

We started with backgrounds of all the programs, the prescribed programs, all four -- in four areas and the historical background then led to the later activities and research and development and designs construction, production and weaponization and whatever happened to it up to 19 -- the end of 1990, beginning of 1991. That was, at the time called, FFCD, Full Final and Complete Disclosures or Declarations. Those declarations were given in 1996 and we continued discussing and clarifying those declarations in letters that took another year. And those clarifications were considered also as part -- an integral part of the declarations.

We revised those declarations and we gave them the title, which is required, the new title given by the Security Council Resolution 1441. That is CAFCD, which is currently accurate, full and complete declaration. So that's what we did. And what you saw yesterday was exactly that.

I will now give some ideas about the contents of those declarations. First of all, two copies were handed over last night to BOMVIC. I know -- I'm sure you know what BOMVIC is now. It is the Baghdad or Ongoing Monitoring Verification Inspection Center, one copy to the IAEA of the nuclear program and another to the Security Council. Similarly, copies of the chemical, biological and missile programs also were sent to UNMOVIC and a copy to the Security Council.

The copy to the Security Council was sent with a letter of our minister, Dr. Naji Sabri, to the president of the council, Mr. -- the president for this month that is, Mr. Valdivisio (ph). The letter in its -- presents the documents and mentions the contents of each document and ends withdrawing attention of the Council to the facts that sensitive material is given in the declaration concerning research and development, designs and production technology of agents and weapons.

Now, if this material is distributed to the Security Council, it means effectively it is a public -- in the public domain. Anyone can get this information from the archives of the Security Council, as is the rule. Now, this means that the Security Council is participating in proliferation of material sensitive to -- in that area, prohibited areas.

AL-SAADI: The Council has been deliberating on this since three days. They haven't reached a conclusion as to what to do. And they are going to return to this matter, we heard, on Tuesday. So this problem is still pending.

Now to the declarations themselves. Each declaration is made up of two parts. Part one describing chronologically the past programs up to January 1991. With all the details, which I will give also to you -- the details of one program because the rest of it follows the same idea. Part two describes activities under each heading -- nuclear, chemical, biological and missile from 1991 up to the present time. The sites covered in the section, Part two that is, are those classified as main sites and supporting sites. These make up about just over 5,000 pages. I hesitate to tell you total number of pages because it seems to irritate some quarters. Already it's been described as a telephone directory. There is also an annex to each declaration, which consists of verification documentation. Again, I will not tell you the exact number of pages. We leave that today.

Now the contents -- I will give you as an example for the nuclear program, it begins with an extended summary that covers 80 pages, which contains three chapters. The first chapter gives the stages of development of the Iraqi nuclear program. Chapter two gives the organization of the Iraqi nuclear program. Chapter three gives the financial allocations and procurement. Then the second section comprises of 363 pages, gives technology -- technologies, electromagnetic isotope separation -- that is separation of the uranium isotopes -- chemical technologies and operations of the electromagnetic isotope separation. And the third part gives other technologies associated with electromagnetic isotope separations.

The next part also gives technologies regarding enrichment by gaseous infusion and gaseous centrifusion and then goes on to chemical enrichment program and laser isotope separation and lithium isotope enrichment. Part three, 336 pages, gives device development. Now, in the nuclear jargon, device is the -- it's the bomb. Initial studies, management, the beginning, theoretical work and computer calculations, experimental studies, material studies, electronic and mechanical activities and then, an (UNINTELLIGIBLE) center, which is the place where the final shaping of the device and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Project -- that's the project, which deals with the trigger.

The next part is tied to device development. It gives chemical technologies related to the device development program and utilization of fresh and spent fuel for the accelerated device development program and then the status of that, all that on 17 January 1991. Part four contains 177 pages, gives miscellaneous activities, support for non-nuclear groups and activities, nuclear materials, documentation, movement and destruction of equipment and materials. And then there's a section called achievements. This is required by the IAEA to -- for us to state what we consider the achievement of the program. That alone is 111 pages. Annex to the chapter concerns procurement. And another annex is the status of the main equipment and then, at the end the clarifications of the Iraqi team to the IAEA action team. That's 145 pages. So that's the nuclear program totaling 2,081 pages. As you see it's not a telephone directory.

Then there is part two, which covers the period from 1991 up to the present time. Since the resolution requires currently accurate -- so this is the continuation of the program. That is made up of 300 pages and is divided into two chapters. Chapter one, there's a summary. There's an introduction. And then there are the -- what are called the main sites, the main sites, which constituted the Iraqi atomic energy and continues to give the programs that were undertaken during that period, from '91 onwards. There are explanations. There are program plans. And there is the various sections within the Atomic Energy Commission itself and the research and development center, which is concerned with chemistry and pharmaceuticals, which use isotopes for their work. And then there's the physics department and their work. And there is the agricultural department and their work and the environmental department and their work, their programs and what they have been doing exactly.

All this can be verified because the records exist, the presently active sections in the atomic energy. And there are also other main sites, which are given in the names -- in their current names. And the format we gave to them to fill, the current names are not necessarily the same names they started with in 1991. So we have in the format, the names of all those establishments, what their name was in 1991. If there are any changes to it over the years, it should be given with the date. If there are any changes in their affiliations, it's given, also. Their main activity, description of the activity and who is -- who are their customers for those activities, mention them. If there are any imports, material or equipment, should be given suppliers' names given, et cetera, everything, the format in accordance with previous formats of the IAEA.

AL-SAADI: These cover sites -- one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight -- eight sites, eight main sites.

Chapter two deals with supporting sites, sites, which over the years previously and from 1991, they were involved in supporting the main sites, whatever activity there was previously pre-1991, what they were doing, and in -- that is in the main declaration and this additional declaration, what they were doing from '91 onwards. These are made up of roughly 20 sites. The same format is given to them to state their names from '91 onwards, any changes in their names, any changes in their affiliation and their addresses, any changes in their locations if there are any and in their programs if any. So all that makes up 300 pages, which completes the nuclear program.

On the same outline I have mentioned are given -- the information are given for the other programs in the order which they appear in the letter of our minister for foreign affairs -- chemical, then biological and the missile programs, in that order. I will not bore you with the details. You've -- you know now the nature of the details that we have given. And I would like just to make a few comments regarding the resolution itself. And I mean, Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei need not have mentioned to us that they were not involved in the crafting of this paragraph or the other paragraph, for that matter. Nor were they consulted about it. This is quite obvious from this paragraph itself. The paragraph starts with -- in the second line with a mistake, an inaccuracy. It says, "In addition to submitting the required biannual declarations" -- now, Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei wouldn't have made that mistake. They would have said semiannual. Now, this is a 400 percent mistake, isn't it? If this means one report every two years, what is required in fact is a report every six months and ends, as I said, with the requirement for mentioning programs, which we claim are not related to weapons of mass destruction.

One wonders what are the 900 sites included in the monitoring list. Are they all related to the past programs? And already all the sites remotely related to the program were mentioned -- canneries, breweries, power stations, refineries, petrol, chemical and so on, fertilizer, everything was mentioned. So what are we supposed to give when we are asked to add to this declaration?

We are not even allowed one inaccuracy in this resolution, the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) resolutions. And they make two mistakes just in one paragraph, so it was not done by the professionals. It was done by politicians who probably did not believe that this resolution will be accepted and Iraq will deal with it. Now they are sorting out the problems, what to do with the information, which we have given, which is not a telephone directory. I will now welcome any questions you have.


AL-SAADI (through translator): (UNINTELLIGIBLE), we have an experience in the past and we are prepared to cooperate with the inspectors. All these demands, of course, are going to affect us. The inspection itself is going to affect us. Any site that is chosen for inspection will become paralyzed during that inspection. Everything has to stop and, of course, there are all sorts of problems resulting from that. But we have accepted the decision and this is one of the demands.

Also, the fact that there are dual use materials, we are aware of that and all these materials will be included in the inspection. Dual use is to make sure that these materials are used for other uses than weaponry. Therefore, that's where the difficulty comes from. If we wanted to transfer a machine from one site to another, we have to report that to the national committee in charge, who will approach the inspectors and inform them, so the new site will be included in the inspection.


AL-SAADI: The question was connected with dual use and the question asked whether this constitute a problem for us because then it will affect the work and the sites, which contain dual use equipment or materials, that they have to become subject to monitoring. I said we have accepted this before and we accept this now. It doesn't mean that we welcome it and we are happy with it. Naturally, we're not happy because it affects us considerably. A site, which is subject to monitoring, is practically at standstill when it is inspected and that affects its productivity. There are losses. People cannot move about and so on.

This similarly, when there is a need to transfer material, which is subject to monitoring or dual use material, whether it's material or piece of equipment, then we have to inform the National Monitoring Directory. And the National Monitoring Directory informs the IAEA or the UNMOVIC, previously UNSCOM, to obtain its approval and to put it on record that that place -- the place of that material has changed and the new place will be subject to monitoring as well.

Not many people realize how intrusive and comprehensive the ongoing monitoring system was and that very system, which was functioning properly, and insuring that there are no (UNINTELLIGIBLE) activities going on in Iraq, was destroyed by the attack in December 1998. If the United States and Britain were really concerned about monitoring Iraq's activities, why would they destroy that?

There is a report here exactly about this report, which probably was not brought to your attention. It is titled, "Complete Report on The Status of Ongoing Monitoring System," over 350 pages.

AL-SAADI: It tells you in its first chapter about the monitoring system, which was established and we took part in it. We made it possible because it is our safeguards as well, you know, in order to obtain the state of lifting the sanctions.

In 1998, it was destroyed, but the rest of it was entrusted to the National Monitoring Directorate. They looked after it and they continued their work as if the IAEA and the UNMOVIC or UNSCOM were still there. They were doing the job. And the activities of changing places of movement on materials, movement of equipment were all reported in their time.

And the status also of the destroyed cameras and destroyed tags and destroyed stickers and all kinds of things also is mentioned here. This did not feature in the declarations because the declarations were only connected with the four programs. But we included this in the copy, which was sent to the Security Council and the other copy, which was sent to UNMOVIC, the status of the ongoing monitoring system.

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE), BBC. Let me ask you, do you think this declaration will satisfy the United States and Britain? I mean I'm sure you think it should satisfy them, but do you actually think it will?

AL-SAADI: Well, we hope it will that it will satisfy because it currently accurate, as they have asked for, and comprehensive, truthful, everything. If they have anything to the contrary, let them forthwith -- come up with it, give it to the IAEA, give it to UNMOVIC. They are here. They could check it. Why play this game?

QUESTION (through translator): As you have been talking about the new information, what is the nature of this information? Can you tell us? And can you give us an assessment of the inspection and the monitoring work up to now?

Al-SAADI (through translator): The first question you pointed out the accusation of hiding. Everybody knows that Scott Ritter, the former head of UNSCOM, was the author of the theory of concealing material. He caused us a lot of problems and harm, thanks to his theory. During his work, which lasted over two years, he wasn't able to prove his theory. And therefore, now he is convinced that Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction.

The second part of the declaration covers the period from '91 to 2002, covers all the activities up to '98 when the monitoring system was in place. Then it covers the area after the departure of the monitors. It's all included in the second part of the declaration, which I have explained all the paragraphs and the parts and the activities. So it's all comprehensive. These sites are named there, some of these sites been accused by various parts, but the monitors and the inspectors would be able to see for themselves. Some -- this sites have been open to the media, but as you know the media won't be able to identify what's going on in these sites. You will be able to film these things, but it will be left to the experts to analyze.

The inspection is not something we find convenient. It's intrusive, but we see the inspection as a safeguard and we are happy to cooperate.

Regarding the new inspections, the last question was regarding the new elements in our declaration. I mentioned the new elements in our declarations largely are from '98 up to the present time because from '91 to '98, it was under the monitoring of the -- both the IAEA and the defunct UNSCOM.

But from '98 to the present time, there were no monitoring. And the information given concerns in that period is given truthfully, honestly and comprehensively. And those sites, which are mentioned in our declarations, are the very same sites that have been accused of harboring illicit activities or illegal activities. We are not entirely -- of course, we are not -- nobody is happy being inspected. When you are frisked at the airport, are you happy? Do you feel comfortable? No, but it's for your own safety. It's OK.

QUESTION: "Washington Post."


QUESTION: "Washington Post," please.


QUESTION: "Washington Post", please. "Washington Post", please. Go ahead.

QUESTION: General, does the declaration provide any evidence of biological and chemical agents you previously said you destroyed including anthrax and (UNINTELLIGIBLE), any evidence to support your previous claims of the destruction of these things?

AL-SAADI: It was not just a claim. It's a fact. And the evidence, some first class evidence, is given. But the previous -- the UNSCOM at the time we are not satisfied because there were mainly led by personnel from the United States and Britain, mainly. And when their work was going without interference, we had a statement from the chief inspector, Dr. Spertzel (ph), I believe, after we submitted our revised declaration. He said he began doing the verification procedure, and it was going on quite well for about one month or two. And he said if we continue with our verification like this, we expect to finish with this program within six to nine months, if we go on like that. But if there is a political decision, we'll finish tomorrow. Now, that of course was in 1997 and you know what happened after that. There was a complete reversal of position regarding that part. The biological file, the biological declaration is about a program that never existed after 1991. It was totally and completely removed in 1991 before the inspectors arrived to Iraq. So when you remove something completely, it no longer exists, and if you want to do it properly, you also remove all of the evidence of it ever existed. And that's what we did and retrospectively, it was a mistake.



AL-SAADI (through translator): I have already covered this.

AL-SAADI: Iraq is obliged to give accurate and thorough information regarding the previous program, provide those -- the sources, the achievement, the whole lot. If this is going to embarrass these companies or countries, maybe. Maybe yes. But this is all included in Resolution 1441, which requires that Iraq must prepare these information.

As for the confidentiality of the information, we have pointed out to this and we said that revealing this information by sending it to the Security Council, it will be put in the public domain and people can access that on the Internet. This information is -- will be taken from documents. And we pointed out to this and the Security Council has been deliberating this for the last three days. It's sort sighted by those who formulated the resolution, maybe they did not expect Iraq to accept the resolution and cooperate with inspectors.

How they are -- they are bewildered. They are confused. How can they react? How are they going to react? The declaration has been sent abroad. Now it's a deposition of the United Nations and IAEA. And Iraq has pointed out this -- Iraq is accused of producing weapons of mass destruction and now the Security Council is going to publish information about this, which will be in public domain.

I have said that. I practically said that to you. It's regarding the sensitivity of the information contained in those documents and how the Security Council should deal with them. We are -- of course we cannot advice the Security Council how to deal with them. This is up to them. It's their problem since they insisted on having these information accurately comprehensively, completely.

QUESTION: Go ahead.

QUESTION: In terms of the question of unanswered questions, timing over (UNINTELLIGIBLE) UNSCOM days, you said that there were -- there's first-class evidence that did not satisfy UNSCOM for political reasons at the time. But have you presented any evidence in these declarations to help UNMOVIC, at this point, resolve issues such as the disposition of the VX nerve agent?

AL-SAADI: There is an implication in your question that VX still exists. I have said that nothing of the previous program exists. Our problem now is to produce the complete evidence of the picture of the biological program.

We have presented documents regarding -- supporting documents. Now, those documents have not been increased since then, not by a single document because we have done all researching we could and we could not find anymore.

The UNSCOM at the time, from the time of (UNINTELLIGIBLE), the executive chairman, they received what is called as the Farm Document or Hydrafarm Document. They contain all the sensitive material regarding the biological, chemical, nuclear and missile programs. We don't know what's in -- exactly in those documents. And there -- if you remember, there were about 1.5 million documents or more with the, I think, transparencies and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) immoral (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

QUESTION: Microfilm.

Al-SAADI: Microfilm, yes. Microfilm documents. It's all with them. And they are a position to judge this program better than we do, but they are politically motivated. The biological program gave them a good opportunity to keep everything open.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, "Christian Science Monitor," please.


QUESTION: Given Iraq's statement about the -- that basically Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction, do you welcome the possibility of a chance that UNMOVIC or the IAEA may remove scientists by force or to -- by agreement to confirm those staples?

Al-SAADI: It's like inspections. You like inspections? Do you like to be frisked at airports? It's the same thing. Some things are like medicines, bitter pills.

QUESTION: Would you welcome the possibility that they could confirm that Iraq does not have these kinds of weapons?

AL-SAADI: This is up to the individuals themselves. We do not welcome such a thing.

QUESTION: General, if you would be asked (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to be interviewed, would you go?

Al-SAADI: I decline to answer that question.

QUESTION: German television.

QUESTION: Sir, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), German Television, according to your documentation, how close was Iraq to the war?

Al-SAADI: This is what I tell you would be subjective, not objective. So I mean we have -- we have -- I told you that we have the complete documentations from design to all the other things. We haven't reached the final assembly of a bomb nor tested it. So if you want to follow that, there's no guarantee that you would succeed. We don't know. It's for others to judge. It's for the IAEA to judge how close we were. If I tell you we were close, it is subject, maybe promotional.


Al-SAADI (through translator): I would prefer it if you put this question to Washington. Washington hasn't read the declaration and the White House spokesman called the declaration telephone books. And the United States telephone book consists of thousands of pages, so they called it a telephone book before they could even read it.

Support from a superpower is to study and analyze things. Everybody is watching and everybody knows that they're organizing a huge military campaign. I can't speak for them.

QUESTION: Are you saying, in fact, this document does not contain any new evidence, that you are merely asking UNMOVIC and the IAEA to look again at the evidence, which you have previously presented? And with reference to the new work allegations and the new word at some of the sites, what new work is going on?

AL-SAADI: The answer to the first part of the question, I would recommend that you read the declaration. Then you will reach the conclusion. I am not going to voluntary this conclusion now.

QUESTION: But is there new evidence?

Al-SAADI: I have answered that question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The last question. "Independent," go ahead.

QUESTION: The -- Washington said repeatedly that they've got evidence to prove that Iraq has got weapons of mass destruction. What do you propose they should do?

Al-SAADI: I've said that. They should come up with it forthwith. The sooner they do it, the better it is, for all concerned.

QUESTION: Why do you think they'll (UNINTELLIGIBLE), General?

Al-SAADI: You ask them, please. You ask them. QUESTION: Thank you very much. The final (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) age and your background for those of us who can't interview you because it's necessary to (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

Al-SAADI: You have no other purpose behind this?


Al-SAADI: Like giving my name...


QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) people will wonder, were you educated in the West, anything like that is useful for us, you know. AL- SAADI: Well, from my accent, you can tell where I was educated or not.

QUESTION: Was it the United States?

AL-SAADI: Why? I'm speaking -- course not, no.

QUESTION: Your age?

Al-SAADI: Sixty-four.

QUESTION: And you are -- what kind of scientist are you?

Al-SAADI: Chemical.

QUESTION: And your proper title is presidential adviser?

Al-SAADI: I am not a presidential. I am an adviser, one of many in the presidency.

QUESTION: On the monitoring on the weapons?

AL-SAADI: On technical. Yes, connected with this topic.

QUESTION: And your education was here in Iraq or...

AL-SAADI: In Great Britain. You mean by university degrees?


AL-SAADI: Yes, in Great Britain. You ask your people. They know it. They have a file about me.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.

WHITFIELD: All right. You've been watching a special edition of SHOWDOWN IRAQ: THE DEADLINE and you've been listening to a scientific adviser to Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein. General Amar Al-Saadi addressed reporters and live cameras for the first time since those 12,000-page of documents of compliance have been making their way now to New York to the U.N. Security Council. And he put it very clearly that these documents are breakdown of what nuclear sites are still in Iraq, what have been in Iraq since 1991, any modifications, the locations, the personnel involved, and the customers.

The Bush administration has been making it very clear that it remains skeptical about Iraq's documents of compliance and, of course, it will be in the hands of the U.N. soon. And it'll take them perhaps weeks to pore over the details before perhaps those results may be made public.

Let's go to CNN national correspondent, Frank Buckley. He's at the White House.

And Frank, I'm certain that the president has been listening intently to what details may be revealed at this hour. But of course, the proof is in the pudding when it comes down to the U.N.'s conclusion of these declarations.

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And I suspect U.S. intelligence agencies are monitoring this fairly closely as well. And they would probably ask the same question that you heard three western reporters ask on separate occasions there, and that is about this new evidence. That's exactly what the U.S. wants to see -- is some evidence from Iraq that either, A, it has disarmed or, B, is willing to accept the notion that the U.S. has put forward that it still has weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological. That is the U.S. position. That in fact, Iraq still maintains chemical and biological weapons. That it has not only not disarmed, but it has accelerated its program according to U.S. intelligence. So that would be the key question.

But as you say, Fredricka, essentially what we heard here was a recounting of the breakdown of the sections of this 11,000 plus page declaration. And what the U.S. wants to hear is precisely what's inside those documents. And that's what they're eager to get their hands on -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And of course, we heard from the general that he said -- quote -- "That they haven't reached the assembly of bombs or even tested it." And that was his way of saying that there is no active weapons of mass destruction program going on there.

BUCKLEY: Well, he is specifically referring to the nuclear program and the U.S. has never said that Iraq has nuclear weapons. The U.S. has contended that Iraq is, in fact, in the process of developing a nuclear weapons program. The U.S. position specifically with regard to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is that Iraq has a weapons of mass destruction with biological and chemical weapons. On the nuclear side, they say that Iraq is in fact developing a program.

WHITFIELD: All right, Frank Buckley from the White House. Thank you very much.


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