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Powell says U.S. will deal with Iraq eventually

By Andrea Koppell and Elise Labott
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Secretary of State Colin Powell said Wednesday the United States would deal with Iraq's weapons program as part of its war against terrorism once it had finished the campaign in Afghanistan.

"We must defeat al Qaeda, we must end Osama bin Laden's terrorist threat to the world and deal with the Taliban regime who has given them haven," Powell said following talks with Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

"After that ... we will turn our attention to terrorism throughout the world, and nations such as Iraq, which have tried to pursue weapons of mass destruction, should not think that we ... will not turn our attention to them."

Iraq is one of seven countries on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism, and some in the Bush administration are pushing to include it in the current campaign. Iran, Syria, Libya, Cuba, North Korea and Sudan are also on the list.

Powell criticized statements made by Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz that United States and Britain planned to attack Iraq during the Muslim month of Ramadan, which starts in mid-November..

"Mr. Tariq Aziz has been making these rather ridiculous and threatening statements for many years so I take them all with a grain of salt," he said.


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