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Saddam Accuses UN Weapons Inspectors of Spying - 2003-01-06


Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has accused United Nations weapons inspectors of doing intelligence work.

In a taped, televised speech marking Iraq's Army Day, Saddam Hussein accused the U.N. arms inspectors of carrying out what he called pure intelligence work.

The Iraqi leader accused the inspectors of collecting names of Iraqi scientists, asking intrusive questions and inquiring about army camps and weapons that are not prohibited. He accused the United States of trying to push the inspectors to go beyond their mandate by persuading inspection teams to be more aggressive about questioning Iraqi scientists on the country's arms programs.

President Hussein also accused the United States of stoking tensions to divert attention from what he called America's failed Mideast and economic policies and Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The Iraqi president declared that Iraq's people and army would prevail against any U.S.-led military attack because he said justice is on their side.

Meanwhile, U.N. inspection teams examined at least four Iraqi sites for banned weapons on Monday, a day after they carried out a record 16 searches.

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