US Says Saddam is ‘the Most Explicit Threat’ to Region
The United States has assessed that Iraq is threatening nuclear retaliation for any attack on the regime of President Saddam Hussein, said the Middle East Newsline (MENL).
US defense sources were quoted by the agency as saying that the intelligence agencies and the Pentagon agree that Saddam has made the most explicit threats since the 1991 Gulf war that he is ready to use nuclear weapons.
They said Iraq appears to be preparing either nuclear or radiation bombs in response to any US-led attack on Saddam, MENL said.
"There is plenty of reason to watch Iraq," US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said. "There is plenty of reason to make very clear to the Iraqis that the United States does not intend to let the Iraqis threaten their own people, threaten their neighbors, or threaten our interests by acquiring weapons of mass destruction."
On the Iraqi side, Foreign Minister Naji Sabri urged the United States Wednesday to heed President Saddam Hussein's call to scrap nuclear weapons, according to AFP.
"We invite the United States to respond favorably to the Iraqi head of state's message to get rid of their arsenal of weapons of mass destruction," Sabri said in an interview with AFP.
Saddam called on Washington Tuesday to take the "first step" to be rid of weapons of mass destruction, which he dubbed the "utmost threat to humanity.
"The United States must be the first country to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, followed by the Zionist entity (Israel)," the minister stressed.
Iraq says it no longer possesses weapons of mass destruction, although Washington has cast doubt on the claims that UN arms inspectors destroyed what remained after the 1991 Gulf War – Albawaba.com
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