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Iraq Rejects British Disarmament Proposal - 2003-03-13

Iraq has rejected a proposal by Britain that would require Baghdad to fulfill six demands to prove it is fully disarming.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri called the British proposal an aggressive plan for war. He said Iraq rejects any proposal that is contrary to measures adopted by the U.N. Security Council regarding weapons of mass destruction in Resolution 1441.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair suggested Iraq meet a list of six demands to show that Baghdad is fully disarming, including a demand that Saddam Hussein appear on television to confess Iraq has been hiding weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. Sabri told the Arabic language satellite television station Al-Jazeera that there is no need for the Iraqi leader to appear on television, saying the United Nations does not deal with people, it deals with states.

The British proposal also calls on Iraq to allow 30 Iraqi scientists to travel to Cyprus to be interviewed by weapons inspectors, to destroy all banned missiles and to show proof that it has destroyed all biological and chemical weapons.

In rejecting the proposal Mr. Sabri said these are conditions for war.