Iraq Insists It Has No Weapons Of Mass Destruction
Published on Wednesday, December 4, 2002 by the Voice of America
Iraq Insists It Has No Weapons Of Mass Destruction

Iraq says its forthcoming report detailing its weapons programs will not include any admission that it has weapons of mass destruction.

General Mohammed Amin, the Iraqi official working with U.N. arms inspectors in Iraq, said Wednesday evening in Baghdad the report demanded by the U.N. by Sunday will be huge, with "new elements". But he said the report will not include so-called "prohibited activities" - an apparent reference to weapons of mass destruction.

The developments came as U.N. monitors in Iraq continued to search for weapons. A U.N. spokesman said the number of inspectors and inspection sites will increase in the days ahead.

One U.N. team headed northwest of the capital, Baghdad, to make sure work at a demolished center for chemical weapons had not resumed, while another team traveled south of the capital to a facility associated with Iraq's nuclear program.

Meanwhile, a Baghdad-based U.N. spokesman, Hiro Ueki, said inspectors will increase the number of sites they visit starting next week, when more arms experts arrive in Iraq. Mr. Ueki said several waves of inspectors will start arriving on Sunday.

The United States has urged the United Nations to take a more aggressive approach on inspections, which are now into their second week. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Wednesday the United States wants the U.N. to begin multiple, simultaneous weapons inspections to ensure that Iraq meets its disarmament demands. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell both say the inspections seem to have gotten off to a good start. On Monday, President Bush said so far the signs of Iraqi cooperation are not encouraging. But Wednesday the president did not assess Baghdad's cooperation with U.N. inspections, saying "time will tell".

Copyright 2002 VOA News