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Text of Iraq letter on missiles

A U.N. weapons inspector examines an Al Samoud 2 missile this month in Iraq.
A U.N. weapons inspector examines an Al Samoud 2 missile this month in Iraq.

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UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- Iraqi officials sent a letter Thursday to chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix discussing the destruction of the Al Samoud 2 missiles, which U.N. experts said exceed the allowed range.

The following is an unofficial translation of the letter:

I would like to refer to your letter dated 21 February 2002 regarding your request to submit Al Samoud 2 missiles and its attachments to UNMOVIC [U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission] for the purposes of starting verifiable destruction and I would like to inform you of the following:

1. Our acceptance in principle of your request despite our belief that the decision to destroy was unjust and did not take into consideration the scientific facts regarding the issue, as well as the timing of this request seems to us to be one with political aims, especially that those missiles, production and testing facilities are declared fully and are subject to ongoing monitoring and their issue is not considered urgent in comparison with other technical tasks related to verifying remaining unsolved issues of previous programs, as well as ascertaining the ill claims you receive regarding the existence of proscribed and undeclared activities in Iraq that requires your verification and declaring the facts to the world, because they are used to justify an aggression against Iraq.

2. We regret to note that your request did not take into consideration the recommendations of the technical team included at the end of the Missiles Experts Committee's report held in UNMOVIC on 12 February 2003, which noted the need to establish criteria to ensure that the missiles do not pass the range of 150 [kilometers]. We previously requested holding technical talks about them in accordance with our letter dated 19 February 2003, and prior to your writing of the above-mentioned letter to which we have not yet received an answer.

3. In order to establish a framework and a timetable and other technical and procedural criteria required for implementation, we suggested dispatching a technical team urgently for this purpose.

Accept my utmost consideration.

Amer Al-Saadi

Advisor at the president's office

27 February 2003

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