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Mohammed Aldouri, Iraqi Ambassador to U.N., Addresses Open Session

Aired March 11, 2003 - 15:30   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Now let's go to the United Nations Security Council. More specifically, it's an open session. We're going to hear from the Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations right now, Mohammed Aldouri, as he addresses an open session.
MOHAMMED ALDOURI, IRAQI AMBASSADOR TO U.N. (through translator): ... and their scientific and technical ability and capacities to discover any prescribed weapons or programs. The inspectors are equipped with the latest advanced equipment from ground-penetrating radar, sonar vibration detectors and aerial surveillance, as well as aerial surveillance aircraft. Iraq has not interfered in the work of inspectors from any technical aspect whatsoever.

Sixth, was Resolution 1441 not an American-British initiative to reinforce the inspection regime and an attempt to rule out the implementation of Resolution 1284? Iraq's acceptance to deal with Resolution 1441 and its implementation in all its provisions had voided the opportunity for the United States and Britain to use it as a pretext to declare war on Iraq. Having lost that opportunity, they started to raise doubts on the inspectors.

The inspections and their capabilities, they turned to search for other pretexts, such as terrorism, regime change, Iraq's threat to its neighbors, American interests, and the need to disarm the so-called weapons of mass destruction by force. Which means waging war being the main objective of this game.

Seventh, does the document submitted by UNMOVIC to the Security Council in its latest meeting, entitled "Remaining Disarmament Issues," mean the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Dr. Blix did reply to this question, saying that the document on remaining disarmament issues does not provide any evidence on Iraq's possession of prescribed weapons or programs. Rather, the document is a list of questions. The answers to which would enable UNMOVIC to verify prior destruction of these weapons in 1991 in order to reach the so-called material balance.

This is reiterated by UNMOVIC as it was by its predecessor, UNSCOM. Bear in mind that Iraq did request from UNMOVIC and for some time to present such a document. And it would be of importance for Iraq to view the main tasks required of it in order to implement them as soon as possible so that it may study such questions and answer them. Eight, regarding the so-called new evidence during the past two days alleging that Iraq is in material breach, allegations made by the United States of America and Great Britain, I believe that this so- called new evidence, no doubt, reflects the quandary faced by the U.S. administration in proving its allegations. This issue, these allegations, have become a subject of ridicule. The issue is no more than a small experimental primitive aircraft without any form of production whatsoever. Inspection teams have viewed the aircraft, its specifications and their details.

They ascertained those specifications, especially regarding fuel tank capacity and engine specifications. It was tested within the range of the airport. This is a radio-controlled aircraft. It is controlled and remains within sight -- within the sight range of its ground controller no more than eight kilometers.

Therefore, it is not a weapon of mass destruction. Neither is it a delivery method which goes beyond the range set in Security Council resolutions. Is this a material breach of Security Council resolutions, and particularly 1441? This we leave to you, ladies and gentlemen. We leave it to you to ascertain the truth of such allegations.

They show the bankruptcy of the U.S. administration in attempting to convince the international community of the truthfulness of its allegations. The issue ultimately is in the hands of UNMOVIC. It is UNMOVIC that is to reach its conclusions. Mr. President, I shall like to conclude my statement in pointing out the following two points.

One, Iraq is aware that since the start of our dealing with this matter, that the United States of America and Britain will put in doubt any result reached because their goal is not disarmament, a disarmament which has, in effect, has been achieved. And they know this, as will be ascertained by UNMOVIC and IAEA soon. Rather, their objective is to lay their hands on our oil, to control the region, to redraw its borders in order to ensure the vital interests of the United States of America for a long period to come. This is a new direct colonization of the region.

My second and last point is that Iraq has taken the strategic decision to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction. Had this decision not been the right decision, it would not have cooperated with UNMOVIC. Today, Iraq, before this August (ph) council, reiterates its readiness to cooperate in a fruitful and constructive manner in a way that will lead to the deciding that weapons of mass destruction no longer exist in Iraq and the lifting of the sanctions imposed upon us.

We will convincingly respond to anyone who has any doubts on Iraq's cooperation. We shall respond to the fabrication of false allegations to justify war against us. Iraq reaffirms that peaceful means, dialogue and cooperation are the shortest and best means to resolve the current crisis. My delegation, through you, calls upon the international community to prevent a catastrophe, which has now become imminent. We call on the Security Council. We call on the secretary general of the United Nations to shoulder their responsibilities in accordance with the provisions of the charter of the United Nations. Their responsibility to thwart any aggression aimed at Iraq. Thank you, Mr. President.

O'BRIEN: Mohammed Aldouri is who we have been listening to, the Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations. A bit defiant, talking there at some length about those we've been telling you about that were buried in that Hans Blix report to the United Nations.

The Iraqis call them remotely piloted vehicles. He said -- Aldouri, that is -- that these remotely piloted vehicles have very limited range, are radio-controlled aircraft, and can only operate within sight lines of the operator on the ground. We will, of course, be following that debate as it progresses through this open session of the United Nations.



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