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Straw responds to Iraqi Foreign Minister's speech

Foreign Secretary responds to Iraqi Foreign Minister's speech

In response to the Iraqi Foreign Minister's speech at the United Nations on 19 September, the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, said that Iraq telling the United Nations it has no weapons of mass destruction was a 'blatant untruth'.

The Foreign Secretary said:

"After a decade of defying and obstructing the United Nations, Iraq has confirmed its record of evasion and deceit by telling the United Nations it has no weapons of mass destruction. This blatant untruth confirms that the world can put no trust in Iraq's word."

Mr Straw said that Saddam Hussein's regime remains determined to flout the United Nations' authority. He said that the need has been underlined for 'extreme scepticism' about Iraq's offer to admit UN inspectors without conditions. The Foreign Secretary added that Iraq is 'already trying to set conditions'.

The Secretary of State said:

"Iraq's Foreign Minister was not telling the truth when he said that Iraq is clear of all nuclear, chemical and biological weapons."

"Iraq does retain the capacity to use chemical and other weapons of terror against its neighbours and its own people, as it has done before. By pretending this is not so, Iraq has reinforced the need for the UN Security Council to insist on intrusive inspections with an urgent timetable."


ENDS

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