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Iraq Denounces Powell’s U.N. Speech

February 5, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ Iraq on Thursday called Secretary of State Colin Powell’s speech to the Security Council a ``typical American show complete with stunts and special effects.″

Presidential adviser Lt. Gen. Amir al-Saadi also said the United States had violated U.N. Resolution 1441 by failing to provide evidence to U.N. inspectors.

Al-Saadi said the allegations leveled by Powell were for the ``general public and mainly the uniformed″ so as to influence public opinion and ``commit aggression on Iraq.″

Al-Saadi dismissed taped conversations which Powell said were of conversations between Iraqi officials showing efforts to conceal proscribed materials from inspectors.

``From what we have heard, any third-rate intelligence outfit could produce such recordings,″ al-Saadi told reporters. ``It is simply not true and not genuine. The reason is simple _ because we have nothing to hide. ... This is simply manufactured evidence.″

Al-Saadi said U.N. inspectors had visited sites mentioned in Powell’s speech and illustrated with satellite photos and had found nothing illegal.

``All palaces were inspected by UNSCOM and the IAEA and they took samples swipes from walls and trees and furnishings and whatever,″ al-Saadi said. ``They found no trace of anything since 1999.″

He accused Powell of misrepresenting the number and importance of issues dividing U.N. inspectors and Iraqi authorities. He also said that allegations about the nature of documents found at the home of a nuclear scientist had been misrepresented.

On the issue of U-2 surveillance, he repeated Iraq’s position that it does not object to such flights if the United States and Britain suspect patrols over the ``no-fly″ zones during such missions.

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