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Saturday, 7 December, 2002, 16:52 GMT
Bush reserves judgement on Iraq dossier
President Bush
Bush: Iraq must prove compliance with UN demands
US President George Bush says it will "take some time" for American and United Nations experts to reach a judgement on the Iraqi weapons dossier, but he has demanded a major shift in Baghdad's attitude.

In his pre-recorded weekly radio address, Mr Bush said Iraq's declaration on its weapons programmes must be "credible and accurate and complete".

War is the last option for confronting threats

President Bush

"We will judge the declaration's honesty and completeness only after we have thoroughly examined it, and that will take some time," he said.

The BBC's Jon Leyne in Washington says this shows that the United States is not preparing for an early showdown over the Iraqi declaration.

'No delays'

The 11,807-page dossier - already shown to journalists - will be examined by UN weapons inspectors before being passed on to the UN Security Council.


Iraqi Scud
Inspections timetable:
  • 8 December: Iraq must make a current and complete declaration of chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programmes.
  • 26 January: Inspectors have 60 days from the start of inspections to report on their progress.
  • Inspections can be halted at any time, and "serious consequences" ensue if Iraq obstructs inspectors.

    See also:


  • Iraq says it describes some activities potentially for dual military and civilian use.

    Mr Bush said any act of delay or defiance "will prove that (President) Saddam Hussein has not adopted the path of compliance and has rejected the path of peace".

    "Thus far we are not seeing the fundamental shift in practice and attitude that the world is demanding."

    He said Iraq's letters to the UN regarding weapons inspections "show that their attitude is grudging and conditional".

    He condemned Iraq for continuing to fire at British and US aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq.

    "War is the last option for confronting threats, yet the temporary peace of denial and looking away from danger would only be a prelude to a broader war and greater horror."

     WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    The BBC's Nick Childs in Washington
    "President Bush and other US officials have made it pretty clear that they are sceptical"

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    07 Dec 02 | Middle East
    06 Dec 02 | Middle East
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