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Powell: Evidence of Iraqi Violations 'Irrefutable and Undeniable'


U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell is presenting intelligence information from inside Iraq in an effort to persuade the U.N. Security Council that Iraq is failing in its obligation to disclose its weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. Powell presented an array of information that he says proves Iraq is systematically deceiving United Nations inspectors searching for weapons of mass destruction.

He began by playing two intercepted telephone conversations of Iraqis discussing efforts to conceal a so-called "modified vehicle" manufactured by a company that makes prohibited weapons systems.

Another conversation, which Mr. Powell says comes from members of an elite Iraqi military unit, centers on abandoning "forbidden ammunition" before the arrival of inspectors.

Mr. Powell also showed slides from satellite imagery of sites he says contain banned weapons, including active chemical munitions bunkers. And he presented a diagram of mobile research facilities for biological weapons he says is based on information from an Iraqi defector.

The Secretary of State says the intelligence proves Iraq is in "material breach" of U.N. resolution 1441 that returned weapons inspectors to Iraq after a four-year hiatus and threatens Iraq with "serious consequences" for failing to disarm.

In the day-long session, Iraq, along with the U.N. Security Council members, who are divided over the next step to take against Iraq, will have a chance to respond.