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Gadhafi: Iraq war may have influenced WMD decision

Such weapons no longer necessary, Libyan leader says

U.N. inspectors will see
U.N. inspectors will see "we don't have anything to hide," Libya's Moammar Gadhafi says.

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CNN's Andrea Koppel talks about her meeting with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
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CNN's David Ensor reports that Libya has a sizeable stockpile of chemical weapons, but appears to have stopped producing them years ago.
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President Bush announces that Libya has agreed to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction.
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TRIPOLI, Libya (CNN) -- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, in an exclusive interview with CNN, acknowledged Monday that the war in Iraq may have played a role in his decision to dismantle his country's weapons of mass destruction programs.

He also told CNN's Andrea Koppel that though his country has certain programs and machines, it has no chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear arms.

"We have not these weapons," he said, adding that the programs he is prepared to dismantle "would have been for peaceful purposes -- but nevertheless we decided to get rid of them completely.

"There are many rumors, propaganda," he said.

The interview in Tripoli came three days after President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that following months of secret meetings with U.S. and British officials Libya had agreed to dismantle it programs and allow U.N. weapons inspectors access to key sites. (Full story)

Gadhafi said the inspectors would see "we don't have anything to hide."

Hans Blix, former chief U.N. weapons inspector, said he imagined "Gadhafi could have been scared by what he saw happen in Iraq." (Full story)

Asked about his decision, Gadhafi acknowledged that the Iraq war may have influenced him, but he insisted he wanted to focus on the "positive."

He said the world is a changed place in which his country can feel safe without weapons of mass destruction.

A Bush administration official said Libya's nuclear weapons program was "much further advanced" than U.S. and British intelligence had thought, and included centrifuges and a uranium enrichment program, all necessary components in making a nuclear weapon. (Full story)

U.S. officials said Libya also has a stockpile of chemical weapons and dual-use facilities that could be used to create biological weapons.

The Libyans said they no longer have programs to produce chemical or biological weapons and that they have a largely dormant program to develop medium-range missiles based on Scud technology.

CIA and British intelligence officials met with Gadhafi and other senior Libyan officials as the three governments negotiated the deal under which the Libyan government would give up its weapons of mass destruction programs, U.S. officials said.

CIA officials also visited key sites in Libya during a nine-month period of negotiations that started with meetings in various European capitals.

According to Jane's, a defense publication based in London, England, U.S. intelligence officials believed China was helping Libya develop its existing Al-Fatah missile program and that the Libyans were seeking North Korean long-range missile technology.

Gadhafi told CNN that other countries have set a positive example by dismantling weapons of mass destruction programs peacefully. He said he hopes other nations will follow his action.


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