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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Statement By Iraqi Minister of Information

Aired April 1, 2003 - 12:00   ET

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

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
MUHAMMAD SAID KAZIM AL SAHHAF, IRAQI MINISTER OF INFORMATION (through translator): "... facing the invaders, the infidels, with yourselves. Yes, these are the days of honor. Over 700 years God is giving us this chance. God is testing us. He's testing our belief and our message. God is giving us the chance to apply what we say to our deed. He will have his mercy on us and God is guarding us. God is great.

"Yes, my brothers, ages and ages the religious men with all their fatwas, today they all concur that the invaders and the aggressors is -- what they are doing is an aggression on religion and self and on the Islamic nation. Therefore, jihad is a duty, and whoever dies will be rewarded by heaven, and God will be satisfied with their sacrifice. Take your chance. This is what God requested from you.

"I swear by God, whoever remember their belief and confronted and was patient, who God advises, God will make us victorious and the invaders will run away and they will be cursed. They are evil and we are the honorable, the Mujahedeen.

"Take your chance, my beloved. It is your chance for immortality. It is your honor. There is no honor after that. Hit them. Fight them. They are cursed. They are evil. You will be victorious and they will be defeated. Hit them. Fight them as they were fought by your brothers in Umm al-Qasr (ph) (UNINTELLIGIBLE) at Nassiryah and the outskirts of Hiananmar (ph). Fight them everywhere as you fight them today. Don't give them a chance to take the breath until they withdraw and retreat from Islamic land and they will be cursed today and forever.

"Long live our nation. Long live Palestine. Long live Iraq. Let's go and do jihad. Long live our nation. God is great. And they will be the losers, the evils, the criminals."

"April 1, 2003."

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