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Bush: Iraq Not Disarming - 2003-01-21


President Bush has rejected calls to give Iraq more time to disarm, saying it is clear Baghdad is not ridding itself of weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. Bush says Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's banned weapons pose a serious threat to the United States and its allies. He also vowed to keep pressure on Iraq, which he said is delaying and deceiving U-N weapons inspectors.

Mr. Bush spoke after permanent U-N Security Council member Russia joined fellow member France in opposing any U-N resolution authorizing military action against Iraq at this time. China and Germany have indicated they are willing to let inspections continue for months.

Britain openly supports the U-S position that President Saddam is not cooperating with U-N inspectors. The United States has warned the Security Council it must not shrink from its responsibilities if Iraq fails to disarm.

Meanwhile, U-S Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage says President Saddam will never disarm voluntarily. He says the world's options for peacefully dealing with the Iraqi leader are nearly exhausted.

His policy speech on Iraq comes ahead the of the January 27th weapons inspections progress report to the Security Council.

U-N arms inspectors in Iraq searched more suspected sites for banned weapons Tuesday, following Baghdad's new pledge to fully cooperate with the inspection process.

Chief U-N weapons inspector Hans Blix said Monday important issues remain to be settled with Iraq, including the status of Iraqi stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons material. He says Baghdad is still refusing a request to allow U-S spy planes operating under the U-N banner to fly over Iraq looking for banned weapons.

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