U.S. Vice President: Disarming Iraq is the goal; not return of inspectors
Getting rid of all of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction is the issue and the return of United Nations weapons inspectors to that country is only a means toward that end, United States Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday.
"Inspectors aren't the issue. They're a means," he told Fox News.
"The issue...is that (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein has violated, continues to violate the UN Resolution 687 that specifically requires him to get rid of all of his weapons of mass destruction, biological, chemical and nuclear capabilities, and that he allow international inspection to verify that. The inspectors are just a means," he made clear.
The U.S. Vice President pointed out that Baghdad probably wanted "to have a big debate about inspectors." "But the real issue over here is getting rid of those materials that he (Saddam) must get rid of in order to come into compliance with the UN resolution," he noted.
Baghdad announced Thursday it had decided to "deal with" Resolution 1409 in conjunction with the UN administered oil-for-food program that allows the import of essential goods in return for crude exports.
The resolution seeks to free up the delivery of humanitarian supplies while maintaining the arms embargo along with trade sanctions imposed on Iraq after it invaded Kuwait in August 1990.
Asked about a change of regime in Baghdad, Cheney reiterated Washington's position, saying, "We think the region would be much more secure and the people of Iraq would be much freer if they had somebody else at the helm." (Albawaba.com)
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