Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Iraq Accuses US of Manipulating UN into Aggression

Iraq on Tuesday accused the United States of manipulating the United Nations into "aggression" on it, as a US-led war on the oil-rich Gulf nation seems imminent.


Iraq on Tuesday accused the United States of manipulating the United Nations into "aggression" on it, as a US-led war on the oil-rich Gulf nation seems imminent.

"A decision by UN chief Kofi Annan to withdraw UN inspectors from Iraq and observers from the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border paved the way for the American aggression," Foreign Minister Naji Sabri told reporters.

"The United Nations has opened the opportunity for the aggression," said the minister, who is in military uniform.

"Such a decision constitutes a flagrant violation of the UN Charter and UN resolutions," he said, adding the lives of 26 million Iraqi people are equal to those of 170 inspectors.

On Monday, Annan ordered the evacuation of all UN staff from Iraq.

"I have just informed the (UN Security) Council that we will withdraw the UNMOVIC and atomic agency" he said, referring to the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

However, he made it clear that the United Nations will not abandon Iraq despite the withdrawal. "This does not mean that should war come to Iraq, the UN will sit back and not to do anything to help the Iraqi situation."

As for US President George W. Bush's ultimatum for Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein to leave within 48 hours, Sabri said, "dictator Bush has come out with an empty warning to cover up his failure."

Describing the US leader as "crazy and idiot," he said, "it is Bush who should go away."

"How is an ignorant and idiot person able to become a president of a very intelligent people?" Sabri asked.

As for the looming war, Sabri said Iraq has prepared itself for the US-led invasion. "We are not waiting for the last minute to see missiles fall on our heads."

"I met President Saddam this morning, he is sure of victory," he said, adding "the Iraqi leader is good and relaxed."

On Sunday, Saddam vowed to take war "anywhere in the world," if his country is attacked.

"When the enemy launches the war on a large scale, it must realize that the battle between us will be waged wherever there is sky, earth and water in the world," he said.

The United States has accused Iraq of hiding and secretly developing banned weapons as well as having linkage with the al-Qaeda terror network. Iraq strongly denies the US allegation.

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