Saddam demands end of sanctions
Saddam Hussein called Saturday for the economic blockade of Iraq to be lifted "totally and comprehensively" following Friday's reports to the United Nations Security Council by its chief weapons inspectors.
In a statement issued after a meeting with his top advisers, the Iraqi leader said the reports of Hans Blix and Mohammed ElBaradei showed that Iraq had met all its obligations under UN resolutions.
He added that they had exposed what he called American lies about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction programmes.
"The embargo against Iraq should be lifted totally and comprehensively after America's motives were revealed to the world and after Iraq abided by Security Council resolutions," the statement said.
It also demanded that the Security Council denounce the United States and Britain as "liars", strip Israel of its alleged weapons of mass destruction and force it to pull out of "Palestine and occupied Arab land".
In the meantime, Iraq resumed the destruction of Al Samoud 2 missiles Saturday after taking a day off. Six Al Samoud 2 missiles were destroyed at the al-Taji military complex under the supervision of U.N. weapons inspectors.
And in Washington, President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice planned to lobby allies by telephone through the weekend and up until next week's planned vote on a new resolution regarding Iraq. "Unfortunately, it is clear that Saddam Hussein is still violating the demands of the United Nations by refusing to disarm," Bush said Saturday in his weekly radio address.
On Friday, Bush conferred by phone with Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, who agreed that Saddam must be disarmed immediately, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said. Bush also dialed President Ricardo Lagos of Chile.
"As a last resort, we must be willing to use military force," Bush said in his radio remarks. "We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq. But if Saddam Hussein does not disarm peacefully, he will be disarmed by force." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)