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Iraq Hands Over Dossier on Weapons Program - 2002-12-07

Iraq has handed over a dossier containing more than 12,000 pages of documents on its weapons program to U.N. officials in Baghdad, one day ahead of a U.N.-imposed deadline. Iraqi officials say their country has no banned weapons. Meanwhile, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein apologized for Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Iraqi officials say the documents transported to the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad contained a detailed account that would answer all questions concerning its weapons programs. Iraqi National Monitoring Directorate chief Hossam Mohammad Amin, who oversaw preparation of the report, re-interated that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction.

The dossier was in the form of several hundred documents and CD ROM's, which contained the equivalent of 12,000 pages.

The U.N. Security Council Resolution unanimously adopted last month that calls on Iraq to disarm, required the country to deliver the arms declaration to U.N. headquarters in New York by Sunday. A copy will also go to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix told the U.N. Security Council Friday that members will not get any data on the Iraqi documents until his experts have had a chance to assess the information.

On Saturday, President Bush said in his weekly radio address that it will take some time to determine whether Baghdad has made full disclosure in compliance with U.N. demands. He said the burden of proof was on Iraq. The United States believes Iraq still has weapons of mass destruction.

Meanwhile, as the documents were being handed over, a letter from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was read on Iraqi television Saturday evening apologizing to the people of Kuwait for Iraq's 1990 invasion. But the letter also assailed Kuwait's leaders for events leading up to the invasion, and referred to Kuwait as being under the occupation of the United States. Thousands of U.S. troops have been based in Kuwait since 1991.