News



DATE=        APRIL 17, 1998
TYPE=        EDITORIAL
NUMBER=      0-07741
TITLE=       EDITORIAL:  IRAQI WEAPONS CLAIMS NOT CREDIBLE

CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 
APRIL 17, 1998.

ANNCR:
THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE 
VARIETY OF ISSUES.  NEXT, AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF
THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

VOICE:

    AS PART OF THE 1991 CEASE-FIRE IN THE PERSIAN GULF WAR, IRAQ 
AGREED TO ELIMINATE ALL OF ITS CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL AND NUCLEAR 
WEAPONS, BALLISTIC MISSILES, AND PROGRAMS TO PRODUCE THEM.  BUT 
FOR YEARS, THE BAGHDAD REGIME HAS TRIED TO DECEIVE AND OBSTRUCT 
UNITED NATIONS WEAPONS INSPECTORS.  SEVERAL TIMES IRAQ HAS 
CLAIMED THAT WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION WERE ELIMINATED ONLY TO 
HAVE THE U-N INSPECTORS PROVE THE CLAIMS FALSE.  THIS IS 
ESPECIALLY THE CASE IN REGARD TO IRAQI PROGRAMS TO PRODUCE 
BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS FROM SUCH DEADLY TOXINS AS ANTHRAX AND 
BOTULINUM.

    AFTER IRAQI COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE WEAPONS INSPECTORS, THE U-N 
SENT TEAMS OF EXPERTS TO IRAQ FOR INDEPENDENT EVALUATIONS.  THE 
TEAM EXAMINING IRAQI BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS PROGRAMS WAS COMPOSED OF 
MILITARY AND SCIENTIFIC EXPERTS FROM THIRTEEN COUNTRIES, 
INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES, RUSSIA, CHINA AND FRANCE.  THIS 
MONTH, THE EXPERTS REPORTED THAT U-N WEAPONS INSPECTORS ARE RIGHT
TO BE SKEPTICAL ABOUT IRAQI CLAIMS.  THE INDEPENDENT EXPERTS 
CALLED IRAQI DISCLOSURES ON BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS PROGRAMS 
"INCOMPLETE AND INADEQUATE."  THEY SAID THAT IRAQI CLAIMS "CANNOT
BE RECONCILED WITH PHYSICAL EVIDENCE."  SIMILAR FINDINGS WERE 
REPORTED BY TEAMS INVESTIGATING IRAQI CHEMICAL WEAPONS PROGRAMS 
AND BALLISTIC MISSILES.  THESE FINDINGS SHOW WHY IT IS CRUCIAL 
THAT U-N WEAPONS INSPECTORS CONTINUE TO HAVE UNCONDITIONAL, 
UNFETTERED AND UNRESTRICTED ACCESS THROUGHOUT IRAQ.

    AS PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON SAID THIS MONTH IN A REPORT TO THE 
U.S. CONGRESS, IRAQ REMAINS A SERIOUS THREAT TO PEACE AND 
SECURITY.  IRAQ MUST COMPLY FULLY WITH ALL OF ITS OBLIGATIONS 
UNDER U-N SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS.  AND UNTIL THAT HAPPENS, 
IRAQ MUST REMAIN SUBJECT TO INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS.

ANNCR:

    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE U.S. 
GOVERNMENT.  IF YOU HAVE A COMMENT, PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, 
V-O-A, WASHINGTON, D-C, 20547, U-S-A.  YOU MAY ALSO COMMENT AT 
WWW-DOT-VOA-DOT-GOV-SLASH-EDITORIALS, OR  FAX US AT (202) 
619-1043.

16-Apr-98 1:42 PM EDT (1742 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.