Reports: Iraq deploys missiles along border with Kuwait; Powell says time to ''take action''
Reports that Iraq has deployed missiles along its border with Kuwait in violatation of UN resolutions were relayed to the United Nations and the German government about 10 days ago, a German news report said Sunday.
German intelligence has detected the presence of Ababil-100 missiles along Iraq's border with Kuwait, said the Frankfuter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper.
It said the deployment of the missiles, which have a range of 200 kilometers, violates UN resolution 949 that was passed in October 1994 and ordered Iraq not to threaten its neighbors.
Contacted by the newspaper, the German defense ministry said it has known about the missile deployment since the outset of February and had passed on the information to the UN and the German government a dozen days ago.
The missiles pose a "grave threat" to British and US troops stationed in Kuwait, according to German intelligence reports cited by the paper.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said that Iraq was clearly in breach of UN demands it destroy its weapons of mass destruction and that the time had come to "take action".
"It is time to take action, the evidence has been clear they are guilty. (UN resolution) 1441 says they are guilty and 1441 said if they don't fix this, if they don't comply now, if they don't cooperate now, then serious consequences must flow," he said.
"We are reaching that point where serious consequences must flow," he told a press conference after meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi.
In response to a question on whether the United States expected support from Japan in pushing that resolution to be passed, Powell said: "We (will be) into a period of intense diplomacy after the tabling of the resolution next week ...
"We would hope that those who support our efforts would use their good offices to show that support."
According to AFP, Powell said the United States would be looking for a vote on the resolution shortly after UN weapons inspectors make their next report on Iraq's compliance on March 7. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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