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Iraqi Press on Weapons of Mass Destruction

In recent weeks, the Iraqi media have reported several times on the issue of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Some of these reports insisted that Iraq had no such weapons, citing as proof the renewed International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors' visits, while others focused on Iraqi efforts to obtain these weapons, and its right to them. Following are excerpts from these reports:

IRAQI GOVERNMENT DAILY: IRAQ HAS NO WMD

Iraqi columnist Sami Mahdi wrote in the Iraqi government daily Al-Thawra:

"We will never tire of stressing that Iraq is free of WMD - not to appease Little Bush, but to reflect our adherence to our promises and commitments. Anyone who says differently is either an agitator like Little Bush or a double-dealer like his followers..."

"We say again: Iraq is free of WMD; it has no special program for them, and no plans to develop them, as Colin Powell recently alleged... because Iraq does not have the equipment and components to manufacture them, and because Iraq honors its commitments... Iraq rejects the American double standard allowing the Zionist entity to possess and develop all types of WMD... while persecuting Iraq for all that it does not possess, insisting that it does [possess them,] with no justification or evidence whatsoever..."

"Little Bush should know what his father never learned - Iraq will not submit to American arrogance. It abhors conceit and terrorism... Anyone dealing with Iraq must first of all acknowledge and respect its rights, and their dealings with it must be based on legality and relevance, not in a terrorist manner. [A terrorist] manner, even if effective with others, will not be effective with Iraq."

NUCLEAR INSPECTORS

Al-Thawra reported that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency will visit Iraq this month:

"...A source at the Foreign Ministry said that the visit has nothing to do with Security Council Resolutions 687 and 715. He added that in January 2000, the IAEA had resumed its annual visits to Iraq to inspect Iraqi nuclear material, in accordance with the... Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. [The source] explained that these procedures are not aimed solely at Iraq, but at all the countries that are signatory to the treaty..."

SADDAM'S MEETINGS WITH IRAQ'S NUCLEAR ENERGY AUTHORITY (NEA)

The daily Babil, whose owner and editor-in-chief is Saddam's son Uday Hussein, wrote (on Nov. 7, 2001):

"President and Leader Saddam Hussein met with Dr. Fadhel Muslim Al-Janabi, chairman of Iraq's Nuclear Energy Authority, and a select group of outstanding researchers and engineers from among the warriors of the NEA and the military industry... Al-Janabi expressed... the love and loyalty of NEA's warriors... to the source of their inspiration, the light of their minds, and the guide of their innovations, the great leader Saddam Hussein..."

"His Excellency told those present and the Iraqi people: 'When the human mind is alive, it has a great objective; it will not be sidetracked from its goal if constrained, but will seek more effective means of reaching its goal.'"

Reporting on another such meeting, the Iraqi News Agency wrote on January 12, 2002: "President Saddam Hussein... commended Iraqi NEA warriors on their achievements, which fill the hearts of the Iraqis with faith and pride..."

"[During the meeting, Al-Janabi said]... 'As time goes on, your sons the Mujahideen become more determined and energetic, not only to overcome difficulties, but also to invent new and advanced ways of accomplishing their work...'"

IRAQ HAS A RIGHT TO WMD -

Citing from and reporting on an Al-Thawra editorial that stated that Iraq has a right to WMD in order to deter the Zionist threat, an article appearing in Babil addressed the American and European "double standard" in their nuclear weapons policies:

"{Al-Thawra stated] 'Possessing such weapons constitutes a right of self-defense and a necessity of national security, whether anyone likes it or not.' The paper condemned the American and European double standard that allowed the Zionist entity to possess all types of WMD, but did not allow the Arabs the same..."

"The paper further stressed that those espousing this double standard will not, no matter how hard they try, manage to stop the Arabs from accomplishing this goal in the future, whether covertly or overtly."

Source: MEMRI (Tel: 202-955-9070)


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