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Excerpts From Iraqi Foreign Minister's Letter

Excerpts from a letter, dated Nov. 23, from Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, as translated from Arabic by The Associated Press:

Operational paragraph 3. This paragraph is based on an imaginary assumption of the existence of mass destruction programs in Iraq. Iraq has strongly denied this claim and the United States and Britain failed to give one credible proof on this matter. ...

Operational paragraph 4. This paragraph makes a false assumption that Iraq might make false statements or fail to comply with the resolution. This false assumption leads to another false assumption, that this act represents a material breach of U.N. resolutions. This arbitrary decision as stated in this paragraph represents an unprecedented act because it considers the giving of inaccurate statements — taking into consideration that there are thousands of pages to be presented in those statements — is a material breach. Its aim is very clear, and that is to provide pretexts in order to distort the position of Iraq and be used in the aggressive acts against Iraq, not to implement the declared goals of the Security Council. Secondly, considering leaving out some information to be a material breach means there is premeditation to target Iraq. ...

Operational paragraphs 5 and 7. These paragraphs have given UNMOVIC and the IAEA unprecedented arbitrary powers that do not agree with their international work, which requires that they respect the sovereignty of countries they work in and the countries' laws and human rights according to the U.N. charter. These unprecedented measures in the history of the international organization and in the history of international affairs and disarmament and arms control procedures aims, in fact, to hinder the work of inspectors and to create causes for confrontation and a crisis in confidence with Iraq, and opens the door again to taking advantage of inspection activities for purposes not related to the declared aims of the council's resolutions.

The procedures for disarmament and arms control are known, and there are adopted standards in international agreements to achieve the goal of disarming, which do not include, for example, meeting people inside their country without the presence of a representative of their government, or asking them to leave the country with their families to meet abroad, or to get a list of names of all scientists and researchers of the country, or to bring into the country U.N. guards to protect the sites of inspection teams at the time when Iraq is, according to the law, responsible for their safety as well as their salaries, or giving inspectors the authority to bring in and out of the country whatever they want of equipment without informing the government of the country they are working in, and this all goes on at the expense of this government, and they provide a statement neither on the money they are spending nor on the fate of equipment or vehicles, bought with Iraq's money, after finishing their mission. ...

Operational paragraph 10. This procedure aims at destroying cooperation between Iraq and UNMOVIC and IAEA and gives some countries pretexts to interfere in their work, subjecting them to the pressure and desires and claims of specific countries, first of all the United States, which has aggressive goals. At the same time, it does not place any legal or political responsibility on those countries that give misleading information, aiming at obstructing the work. ...

Operational paragraph 11. The aim of this paragraph is to ... create problems out of nothing with the aim of showing Iraq as not cooperating, and create pretexts to launch an aggression against it. ...

We hope that the U.N. and the peace-loving countries, including permanent and nonpermanent members of the Security Council, will work to urge UNMOVIC and IAEA to commit their inspectors to their obligations according to the U.N. charter and to respect their mandate and adhere to serve the U.N.'s goals. This will lead to the quick uncovering of the false U.S. accusations regarding Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, and to enable the United Nations to fulfill its obligations stated in this resolution on Iraq, which represents the goal of lifting the unjust sanctions, respecting Iraq's sovereignty and security, and respecting its national interests.