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IRAQ - Oct. 7 - Bush Speaks Of Baghdad Threat.

During his first primetime TV address on Iraq, US Pres. Bush calls Saddam Hussein a "homocidal dictator addicted to weapons of mass destruction". He says: "The time for denying, deceiving and delaying has come to an end. Saddam Hussein must disarm himself - or, for the sake of peace, we will lead a coalition to disarm him". Bush says his administration is increasingly concerned that Baghdad has "a growing fleet" of unmanned aerial vehicles which could hit US targets with chemical or biological weapons. He says he hopes the disarmament of Saddam's Iraq would not require military action, but that it may: "Military conflict could be difficult". Bush's speech offers little new intelligence on Saddam's weapons programme, but reiterates Washington's concern that Baghdad could have a nuclear weapon within a year. Bush also addresses the role of UN weapons inspectors, saying that an entirely new and more forceful inspections regime is necessary. It needs to have access to any sites within Iraq, without prior notice. Bush also demands that people who have been involved in Iraq's "illegal activities" - i.e. weapons programmes - should be interviewed outside the country and allowed to leave with their families to prevent intimidation by the Baghdad regime. Bush reiterates his administration's view that there are links between Baghdad and Al Qaida. (Intelligence officials in Europe have said they have found no convincing evidence of a connection - see last week's Recorder). Bush says the US administration knows of a senior Al Qaida figure who had medical treatment in Baghdad in 2001.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 12, 2002
Words:254
Previous Article:IRAN - Oct. 9 - Straw In Tehran.
Next Article:IRAQ - Oct. 9 - Baghdad Softens Stance On Arms Inspections.
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