Aldouri: 'It is for the accusers to prove otherwise'
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Mohammed Aldouri, Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations, spoke to the U.N. Security Council on Friday. This is a transcript of his remarks.
ALDOURI (through translator): Thank you, Mr. President.
In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate, my delegation would like to extend its congratulations to you on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council this month. We are confident that your African wisdom will be the best guarantor for the success of its work this month.
I should also like to thank Germany for its presidency of the Security Council last month and for all the efforts made towards the success of its deliberations.
I should like to thank both Drs. Blix and ElBaradei for their efforts and for their briefings. Let me stress our pledge on continuing proactive cooperation with them.
Mr. President, Iraq proceeds from a deep sense of responsibility, from a clarity of vision, in regards of the nature of the very difficult international circumstances that are an inauspicious omen not only for Iraq and its people but for the entire region and the world, which includes this organization, the United Nations organization.
The entire world, with the exception of a handful of states, remain desirous to see the United Nations continuing to fulfill the tasks entrusted it in keeping international peace and security.
Mr. President, it seems that the possibility of a war of aggression being launched on Iraq has become imminent regardless of what the Security Council decides and regardless of the international position, both official and public, strongly rejecting aggression and war and demanding a peaceful solution.
The French, German, Russian, Chinese position clearly expresses the fact that there is no need for a second resolution to be adopted in the Security Council. It demands that the work of the inspectors continue and that enough time is given them to complete their tasks by peaceful means.
The position of the Arab countries was also clear, particularly the one taken by the last Arab summit which unanimously expressed the rejection of an attack against Iraq as constituting a threat to Arab national security. The summit called on a peaceful resolution of the Iraqi crisis within international legitimacy. The summit reaffirmed the responsibility of the Security Council to preserve the independence, security and territorial integrity of Iraq. The summit also stated that time has come to lift the sanctions imposed on Iraq.
The latest summit of the Nonaligned Movement, a movement of 114 countries held in Kuala Lumpur, condemned military action and the threat of the use of military action, considering such action as aggression and a flagrant violation of the principle of non-interference. The heads of states and governments and the representatives of 57 Islamic countries who just met recently at the Al-Doha summit also declared their absolute rejection of any aggression on Iraq, considering it a threat to the security of any Islamic state.
Furthermore, I should like to express my appreciation for the efforts being made by all churches in stressing the importance of peace, as well as the efforts in particular made by his holiness the pope in underscoring peace and denouncing war, considering such war void from any moral or legitimate foundation.
On behalf of the people of Iraq, I should like to salute all the peoples in the world, and in particular the people of the United States of America and the British people, the people of Spain, who took to the streets in the millions in demonstrations expressing their attachment to peace and their rejection of war.
Mr. President, the U.S. administration, with Britain, have in the past and continue to attempt to trump up facts and evidence pointing to Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction.
However, they have come short in convincing the international community. The inspectors have proved that there are no such weapons and that such allegations are false.
Secretary Powell spoke of a lack of a strategic and political decision in Iraq confirming a commitment to the resolutions of international legitimacy and a commitment to ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction.
Let me affirm that Iraq's strategic decision to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction was indeed taken in 1991. UNSCOM worked for eight years. Iraq handed over many of those weapons to UNSCOM for destruction in the period from 1991 to 1994. Indeed, UNSCOM did undertake the destruction of those weapons. That, in addition to the weapons unilaterally destroyed by Iraq in the summer of 1991. These include all proscribed material in the biological area.
This, Mr. President, is the central fact of the matter. Since then, nothing has been unearthed to contradict that central fact.
Any weapons that are proscribed will be (inaudible) in either of those two categories declared or unilaterally destroyed, all the declaration that Iraq was repeatedly asked to present, connected with details and verification of unilateral destruction and nothing else -- I repeat, nothing else. It is for the accusers to prove otherwise, if they have any evidence in hand.
Let me also point to what Secretary Powell stated, arguing regarding Iraq's VX program. The fact of the matter is that Iraq had no weapons, no VX weapons to declare, no VX agents remained to be declared by Iraq. Iraq never produced stable VX and never weaponized VX. No one has any evidence whatsoever to prove the contrary.
Mr. Powell ought not to jump into such hasty conclusions as he has in the past concerning aluminum tubes and the claims on importing uranium.
We heard directly from Mr. ElBaradei today to the exact opposite.
Regarding statements on Iraq's cooperation that I heard this morning from many distinguished members of the council, allow me just to point out what was stated by Dr. Blix not today, however, what he stated two days ago in a press conference.
In that press conference, he stated that Iraq is cooperating proactively. I would underline the word proactively. He stated that a real disarmament is taking place on the ground -- real disarmament. He stated that the efforts exerted by Iraq and the inspectors represent steps towards actual verification, verification of Iraq's unilateral destruction of its previous proscribed programs.
When asked if Iraq represents a threat now, he replied that all agree that Iraq possesses very limited military capacities in comparison with 1991 and that Iraq is being monitored and very closely guarded by the inspectors.
On the issue of interviews, Dr. Blix stated that his experts have clarified that those interviews are yielding important and beneficial results regarding data. He pointed out in this regard the importance of Iraq's submission of names of participants in destroying proscribed programs; an issue that surely will facilitate verification of such destruction. He added that he does not agree with those who say that Resolution 1441 is a disarmament resolution and not an inspection resolution.
Mr. President, the U.S.-U.K. statements in addition with some others today show a state of confusion, because officials in the United States and the U.K. and those standing on their side are unable to provide any evidence proving the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They have also not been able to mask their own private agenda in the region and the world.
So it all started with the issue of Iraq possessing and developing weapons of mass destruction. Then they demanded that Iraq accept the return of inspectors. Then they moved on to proactive cooperation with the inspectors. Then they demanded the submission of evidence, proof that Iraq was free of weapons of mass destruction. Then, at the last meeting, they concentrated on the need to destroy the Al-Samoud 2 missiles.
Then talk moved on to the alleged link that Iraq is destroying on the one hand and manufacturing on the other. Then talk began of an alleged link with terrorism and regime change. And finally, here we are hearing about Iraq being a threat to U.S. national security, stated by President Bush, having previously heard that Iraq is a threat to its neighbors.
This is an attempt to mix the issues. It is an attempt to mask the real agenda of the United States of America and the United Kingdom in Iraq. It's a very simple agenda. The objective is the complete takeover of Iraq's oil, domination of the entire Arab region, politically and economically. It is the implementation of what is being called the neo-Sykes-Picot on the Middle East, the redrawing of the region one more time.
Mr. President, when Iraq accepted Security Council resolutions it was and continues to look for justice from this esteemed council. However, the tabling of the draft resolution and its latest amendment do not relate to disarmament. The aim is to drag the Security Council to detrimental consequences not only for Iraq, but for the very credibility of this international organization where we're meeting today.
I should like, at this point, to express Iraq's gratitude to all those opposing the draft. Let me reiterate to them that Iraq will not waver in its continuing proactive and rapid cooperation with UNMOVIC and the IAEA.
We call on this august Security Council to shoulder these historical responsibilities, especially today's responsibility in thwarting aggression against Iraq. Let the Security Council not allow in any way for a new crime to be committed in its name, which in its impact will by far surpass any crimes in the past century.
Let me add, Mr. President, that war against Iraq will not unearth any weapons of mass destruction. But it will wreak destruction for a very simple reason. There are no such weapons except in the imagination of some. And therefore, all those who abetted in the commission of that crime without a direct interest will be sorry indeed.
I thank you, sir.