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Iraqi President Saddam Hussein speaks on anniversary of Persian Gulf War

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CNN's Wolf Blitzer interviews CNN anchor Bernard Shaw and former CNN correspondent Peter Arnett about their Gulf War experiences

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Blitzer interview with Shaw and Arnett, Part 2

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Watch an excerpt of Aziz's speech

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein planned to address his country on Wednesday, on the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the Persian Gulf War.

On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said his country is stronger than ever on the anniversary. Aziz said Iraq was not defeated in the Gulf War, which lasted just six weeks.

"We believe in what we said 10 years ago: We are victorious," said Aziz in a televised speech. "Victory can be achieved through the strategic results of any confrontation, and we are confident that we gained victory in that struggle, which lasted 10 years and is still going on."

Aziz blamed the news media for giving the impression that Iraq was being defeated.

"The lies and misinformation was wide-scale to the extent that so many people believed what was said by those media organizations," Aziz said.

The U.S.-led air assault that launched the Gulf War began one day after the expiration of a United Nations deadline for Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait.

Aziz defended his country's occupation of Kuwait. "They were traitors against the country that helped them for eight years to achieve security in the Gulf and which has resulted in them keeping their thrones," said Aziz. "They stabbed Iraq in the back in a way that only the Zionists would do."

After the war, the international community imposed tough sanctions on Iraq. But over the years, support for those sanctions has eroded.

Britain is promising to show flexibility toward Iraq if it restarts talks on whether to allow inspections for weapons of mass destruction. Iraq has repeatedly refused to allow U.N. weapons inspectors back into the country.



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RELATED SITES:
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  • Office of the Iraq Programme
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