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Iraq: Weapons claims are a lie

Aldouri said the U.N. report vindicated Iraq's stance

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Iraqi President Saddam Hussein rallies his nation in the wake of the U.N. weapons inspectors' report. CNN's Nic Robertson reports (January 27)
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Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix addressed the U.N. Security Council with delivery of the weapon inspections report on Iraq (January 27)
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Allegations by the U.S. and the UK that Baghdad is hiding weapons of mass destruction are "baseless" and a "big lie," Iraq has said.

Iraqi U.N. Ambassador Mohammed Aldouri made the comments after the two top U.N. weapons inspectors briefed the U.N. Security Council on their progress in Iraq.

"All the sites that the United States and the Britons alleged in their two recent reports produced weapons of mass destruction were repeatedly inspected, X-rayed, and environmental samples were taken, to make sure that nothing happened there," Aldouri told reporters.

"The result is to prove that Iraq is clear of weapons of mass destruction" at those sites.

"The inspectors also proved that all the intelligence information provided later by the United States and Britain and satellite pictures were baseless."

Aldouri referred back to comments made former U.S. President Bill Clinton following America's bombardment of Iraq in late 1998 in which he said all of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed.

And the ambassador said that despite allegations from critics, Iraq provided new information in the 12,000-page declaration it provided to the United Nations in December, and "has expressed a sincere willingness to clarify any questions and work at solving these issues."

"We think there is no more need for inspections or inspectors," he said.

Representatives of the United States and Britain, however, said Tuesday's reports Hans Blix, who directs the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, and Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, show Iraq has not been totally cooperative with inspectors.

Iraq has not given them proof that it has destroyed its weapons of mass destruction as required by U.N. a resolution passed last year, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, said.

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