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Latest Report Confirms Iraq Failed to Disarm, says Powell - 2003-02-14

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says the latest status report by the chief U.N. weapons inspectors for Iraq only confirms that Baghdad has failed to disarm. The United States and Britain are expected to push the Security Council for another resolution that would clear the way for military force, if there is no change in Baghdad's level of cooperation.

Secretary Powell says this latest report to the Security Council provides further confirmation that Iraq is failing to disarm. He says Baghdad is trying to endlessly string out the weapons inspection process by denying inspectors access to the Iraqi weapons specialists and relevant documents they need. "These documents would be flooding out of homes, flooding out of factories," he said. "There would be no question about access, no question about interviews. If Iraq was serious about this matter, interviewees would be standing up outside UNMOVIC and IAEA offices in Baghdad."

He told the 14 other members of the Security Council they will have to consider in the very near future "serious consequences" for Iraq's behavior, as called for in a U.N. resolution approved last November demanding that Iraq disarm.