Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said Thursday his country lacks the means to attack Israel should a conflict erupt.

Aziz said Iraq doesn't have missiles that can reach Israeli territory as it did during the 1991 Gulf War, when dozens of Iraqi Scud missiles struck Israel.

The westernmost part of Iraq is about 230 miles from Israel's Dead Sea coast.

"We don't have the means to attack Israel that we had in 1991," Aziz told France-2 television. "We aren't a threat to anyone."

"We can't talk of reprisals when we don't have the means," Aziz said, speaking in an interview live from Rome, where he was to meet with Pope John Paul II.

The Bush administration has said it will launch military action against Iraq if Washington is not convinced it has gotten rid of weapons of mass destruction as required by the United Nations.