posted on Dec, 24 2002 @ 03:18 PM
- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said on Tuesday that U.N. weapons inspections, if fair, would expose American "lies" and prove that Iraq was free
of weapons of mass destruction.
In a Christmas Eve message read out on state television, he also said an "American-Zionist campaign" was being launched and the threat of a
large-scale military campaign was growing.
He questioned whether a November Security Council resolution to disarm Iraq would proceed as intended, noting the drums of a U.S.-led war against Iraq
were beating louder.
"We are confident that the outcome of the inspections will be a great shock to the United States and will expose its lies, if things remain on a
technical and professional course with no hidden agendas," Saddam said.
"The world will then discover its false allegations and will see the bad intentions of its officials," he added. "But will things proceed in a
manner that will ensure the achievement of the Security Council's declared objectives?"
He said the Christian festive season this year was marked by special circumstances "created by the powers of evil and darkness to spread chaos and
create states of destabilization and tension" in many parts of the world.
To achieve the goal of controlling the wealth of countries, he said the "forces of evil" resort to "various ways and means of lies and deception,
fabrication and false accusation, as well as threats and military aggression."
"It is in this context that the American-Zionist campaign against Iraq is being launched while the tone of a threatened, large-scale military
aggression against our peace-loving people is growing louder...," he said.
Christians number about a 1.5 million out of a total Iraqi population of about 23 million, the vast majority of them Muslims. The colorful mosaic of
Christian sects includes Chaldeans, Copts, Roman and Melkite Catholics, Maronites and Greek Orthodox.
Among the most prominent Iraqi Christians on the international stage is Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz.
U.N. weapons inspectors returned to Iraq last month after a four-year break to resume the hunt for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons of mass
The United States has threatened to lead a military coalition to disarm Iraq if it does not obey U.N. resolutions.
Iraq denies that it has any weapons of mass destruction, and agreed to Security Council Resolution 1441 which set tough terms for inspections and
threatened war if Baghdad did not comply.
Saddam said Iraq accepted resolution 1441, which he again described as "bad," not as a sign of weakness or fear but "to prove its sincerity when it
declares that it has none of these (banned) weapons."