Iraq Demands End to Sanctions After Blix Report
Sat March 8, 2003 08:39 AM ET
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - President Saddam Hussein called on the U.N. Security Council on Saturday to lift 12 years of sanctions against Iraq after what he said was its fulfilling of its disarmament commitments.
In a statement after a meeting chaired by Saddam, the Iraqi leadership made a set of demands it said the Security Council should implement after the reports by chief weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei on Friday.
"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."
The United States and Britain reject Iraq's disarmament moves as insufficient and are threatening imminent war. They have put forward a new draft resolution at the Security Council which would give Baghdad until March 17 to disarm or face an invasion.
Some 300,000 American and British troops are deployed within a striking distance of Iraq.
Chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix told the U.N. Security Council on Friday Iraq's cooperation fell short of Council demands but applauded Baghdad's scrapping of al-Samoud missiles.
The meeting was attended by members of the ruling Baath Party, Revolutionary Command Council and the parliament speaker.
The statement said Blix and ElBaradei had testified that Iraq was sincere and implementing accurately Security Council resolutions.
"After the stage that Iraq had reached in implementing the commitments defined by the Security Council...the world, its peoples and most of its governments have come to realize the real aims of the American administration," the statement said.
"It wants to cover what it wants to do with allegations that Iraq did not implement Security Council resolutions," it said. "But testimonies on the truthfulness of what we say and the accuracy in implementation come from the concerned specialists led by the committee of Blix and ElBaradei."
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