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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Iraq To Deliver Report on Anthrax, VX

Aired March 13, 2003 - 11:09   ET

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

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Now to the subject of Iraq. Iraq says it will deliver reports on anthrax and VX nerve gas to U.N. inspectors shortly. Let's bring in Senior U.N. Correspondent Richard Roth -- you say this is really nothing new, though, Richard.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Well, it could be significant, depending on what's in the report, but more than 10, 11 days ago, Iraq said it would submit reports on disposal of VX nerve agent and anthrax, key, significant missing areas in the file of weapons of mass destruction that the United States, especially, has been pushing for the U.N. to account for. It's even included in one of the British benchmarks that are now on the table being discussed by the Security Council.

The U.N. weapons inspectors say here they are -- the Iraqis have been working on this report. They are expecting it shortly. The spokesman said -- quote -- "Clearly, we hope the information will be new, and will also lead to the resolution of some outstanding issues."

Iraq says they have produced 8,500 liters of anthrax, 3.9 tons of VX nerve agent. The weapons inspectors believe it is considerably more than that.

On the political front, those benchmarks will once again be discussed by the Security Council, 3:00 Eastern time. British foreign secretary Jack Straw today said if there's really a problem with all six of these benchmarks, the United Kingdom would be willing to eliminate No. 1, which is that President Saddam Hussein has to go on radio and state television to renounce weapons of mass destruction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACK STRAW, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: If the only issue between us -- our partners in the Security Council and Saddam Hussein is whether or not he makes a television broadcast, then we're happy to drop that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROTH: Russia and France still opposed to these benchmarks. However, still very much in limbo -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Richard Roth live from the United Nations.

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