Reactions to interim Iraq weapons report
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- Hans Blix, executive chairman of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, and Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, addressed the Security Council of the United Nations Friday to give an interim report on Iraq's compliance in disarming.
Farouk Al-Shara, foreign minister: "Hasn't Iraq opened all its doors without conditions? At a time when Israel rejected any form of inspection over its nuclear facilities, aren't many justified to wonder also whether there are double standards? ... Those who are beating the drums for war make no secret of their objective -- which is not disarming Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. Had they really been seeking the elimination of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, they would have done so by supporting the work of the inspectors and granting them enough time to accomplish what they were set out to do."
Dominique de Villepin, foreign minister: "No one today can claim the path of war will be shorter than the path of inspections. No one can claim that it would lead to a safer, more just, more stable world. For war is always the sanction of failure. Would this be our sole recourse in the face of the many challenges at this time? So let us give the United Nations inspectors the time they need for their mission to succeed."
Tang Jiaxuan, foreign minister: "The Iraqi issue is at the most critical moment. It is the universal hope of the international community to see a political resolution of this issue within the U.N. framework. ...We urge the Iraqi side to recognize fully the importance and urgency of the instructions and provide more cooperation in a more proactive way. ...The Iraqi side has made some commitments. We request Iraq to make good on those promises as soon as possible."
Jack Straw, foreign secretary: "In securing a peaceful conclusion to this crisis as all we must, I know and I think everybody else here knows, that we have only got to this stage by doing what the United Nations charter requires of us -- which is to back a diplomatic process with a credible threat of force, and also if necessary, to be ready to use that threat of force. And if we back away from that, if we decide to give unlimited time for little or no cooperation in substance, then the disarmament of Iraq and the peace and security of the international community for which we are responsible, will not get any easier but very much harder. This issue is not just about Iraq, it's how we deal with proliferators elsewhere across the globe."
Colin Powell, secretary of state: "I am pleased to hear that decrees have now been issued that should have been issued years and years ago, but does anybody really think a decree from Saddam Hussein -- directed to whom? -- is going to fundamentally change the situation? And it comes out on a morning when we are moving forward down the path laid out by Resolution 1441. These are all process issues. These are all tricks that are being played on us."
Igor Ivanov, foreign minister: "Must the UNMOVIC and IAEA inspectors continue their work in Iraq in the interest of a political settlement? Have all the necessary conditions to that end been met? Russia answers yes to that question. The conditions are there. The inspectors must continue their inspections. And this is a position shared by the overwhelming majority of states in the world, including within the Security Council of the United Nations."
Munir Akram, ambassador to the U.N.: "It is understandable that the patience of some important members of the Security Council is running out. All people of goodwill desire that all the possibilities for a peaceful resolution of this crisis should be exhausted before the council may decide to bring into play the enforcement mechanism. The decision for the use of force cannot be an easy one for anyone. For Pakistan, an Islamic country from the region, such a decision will be a most difficult one. And we would therefore like to see every effort exhausted for a peaceful resolution of this crisis."
Mohammed Aldouri, ambassador to U.N.: "Iraq's doors were open to inspection teams without restrictions or conditions, and the entire world was surprised by this level of cooperation. We know that some states were not happy with this cooperation. Some would wish Iraq obstructed inspections, closed doors. But this did not and will not happen because Iraq genuinely decided to prove that it is free of weapons of mass destruction and lift any doubts in that regard. ...An empty hand has nothing to give. You cannot give what you don't have. If we do not possess such weapons, how can we disarm ourselves of such weapons?"