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Iraq’s U.N. Ambassador

BY Admin  November 13, 2002 at 12:00 PM EDT

AMBASSADOR AL-DOURI: Yes, good morning. Yes?

Q Yes, go ahead.

Q Can you tell us, have you delivered the letter to –

AMB. AL-DOURI: Yes, I did deliver the letter to the office of the secretary general. The secretary general is not here, so I delivered it to Mr. Akhbar (ph), yes, right now.

Q Can you tell me — (inaudible; cross talk.)

AMB. AL-DOURI: Well, I can give you the essence of this letter. The letter is saying that Iraq will deal with the Security Council Resolution 1441 despite its bad contents. We are prepared to receive the inspectors within the assigned timetable. We are eager to see them perform their duties in accordance with international law as soon as possible. This is the essence of the letter.

Q Can you describe what the bad contents are?

AMB. AL-DOURI: Well, the other one, I think we explained in the letter the whole Iraqi equation dealt with here within the United Nation activities. So we tried to explain our position, saying that Iraq have and have not and will not have any mass destruction weapons. So we are not worried about the inspectors when they will be back in the
country.

Q So did you repeat that assertion in the letter, that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction?

AMB. AL-DOURI: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Iraq is clean, yes. Yes. Yes.

Q Why did you decide to accept now? How do you describe what made Iraq make this decision now?

AMB. AL-DOURI: Well, this is — this is — I think the government of Iraq decided it, and they decided right now because they think that it is the proper time, the right time to give the answer right now.

Q Sir, you said this was a decision of war and peace. Are you confident now that your government has achieved peace for your country?

AMB. AL-DOURI: As far as Iraqi government concern, yes. We are always opting for the path of peace.

Q If I could, what impact did the Security Council resolution threatening serious consequences and the bluster in Washington, what impact did that have on Iraq making this decision to reallow weapons inspectors?

AMB. AL-DOURI: Well, I just say that we choose always the peaceful ways and means. And this is a part of our policy, vis a vis to protect our country, to protect our nation, to protect the region also from the threat of war, which is real and everybody knows about it. What does that mean, the American threat again Iraq?

Q Sir, would everybody please, can we get a the ambassador to say something in Arabic?

Q Can I just get him to just explain very quickly — (finishes question in French.)

AMB. AL-DOURI: (Answers in French.)

Q (In French.)

AMB. AL-DOURI: (Answers in French.)

(Series of questions and answers in Arabic.)

Q One last question in English please. You mentioned in this letter that you include the assertion that Iraq is clean of weapons of mass destruction.

AMB. AL-DOURI: Yes, right.

Q Do you expect that in your — when you lay out the details, as is stipulated by this resolution, by the beginning
of December, you will make that same assertion again?

AMB. AL-DOURI: Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. No question about it.

Q Do you have any — you say you have no reservations. There are no outstanding issues with whether it’s Blix or
Dr. ElBaradei or the 30 days that Iraq will have to come up with a complete declaration? Do you anticipate any issues
with — or with the composition of inspection teams? Any outstanding questions that Iraq has?

AMB. AL-DOURI: Well, really, I’m not aware about that right now. But certainly the government of Iraq, when it
decided to accept that resolution, that it will deal with the whole equation, with the whole issues of the resolution itself,
the whole issue.

Okay? Thank you very much.

Q Thank you very much.