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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Iraqi Scientist Holds Press Conference

Aired January 18, 2003 - 14:57   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

RENAY SAN MIGUEL, CNN ANCHOR: We have some breaking news to tell you about right now. We're going to go to Iraq and Baghdad, where we understand there is a press conference going on with some Iraqi scientists. Let's listen in.
HASSAN AL-BASRI, IRAQI PHYSICIST: ... when after 1991, we wrote a report -- everyone knows about it -- it's called the FFCD, which gives the whole picture, the whole activity of Iraq. One of the sections was laser section. There is (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of separation, which is section 46. And this section of about 32 pages, we wrote every single piece what we have done in this research.

And all the documents, which was found at my home, which is only the document belongs to me. It is a private copy, which belongs to me. It's aligned vertically (ph), 100 percent, with FFCD. I can assure and I can ask Dr. Mohamed El-Baradei, either by himself or send team of specialists to Iraq, and I will sit with them and I will go through this report, page by page, or even line by line, or even word by word, to see how it's aligned with the FFCD.

I thought once they would read this document, they will come to the conclusion that we are so fair, that we didn't reflected anything different than the report. I thought they would say, OK, we are not sure 100 percent, no more -- more than 100 percent, you are stating the fact and the whole fact. And that is true, we said the whole fact, as I said.

But I think Mohamed El-Baradei was so in a hurry, he gave such a statement, which is not the truth. Totally, not true. Because, as I said, I can sit with Mohamed, in the presence of the media, if he wants -- with him or with any inspection team he will send, and I will go page by page with him. And to see how these reports align perfectly what we had stated in the FFCD.

And in his statement, he said, well, this is possibly could make a bomb. This is ridiculous! Everybody knows, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of separation, even on the work (ph) -- they are still on the research stage, it hasn't reached its allotment (ph) target. So, how could we -- a country like Iraq with a small infrastructure of industry do such things? It's really impossible. He said in this statement, in the time I don't think it's a good time, like somebody who's bringing, you know, oil on the fire, which is perfectly wrong and is not responsible. This is from my point of view.

SAN MIGUEL: You've been listening to Hassan Al-Basri, an Iraqi scientist, who claims that U.N. inspectors are using Mafia-like tactics in their inspections, allegedly used his wife's illness to try to convince him to leave the country and he refused.

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