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Tuesday, 17 July, 2001, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
Saddam targets Israel
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
Saddam said Iraq was stronger than before 1991
President Saddam Hussein of Iraq has used a national television address to urge Arabs to stand up to Israel.


Rise up, dear ones, for whom we are ready to sacrifice anything

Saddam Hussein
In a speech marking the anniversary of the coup that brought the ruling Ba'ath Party to power in Baghdad 33 years ago, he called on the Palestinians to intensify their uprising against the Jewish state.

He hailed as a great Iraqi victory the failure of the United States and Britain to win backing at the Security Council for changes to the sanctions regime imposed by the United Nations following its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

And he said the country remained strong, despite all the efforts of its enemies.

The speech had been hailed by the Iraqi media beforehand as a historic address to mark National Day.

Iraqi children queue for food
The economic embargo has caused hardship among Iraqis
It comes just two weeks before the 11th anniversary of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which led to a military conflict with the West.

The Iraqi leader said that the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories had become "intolerable".

"Rise up, dear ones, for whom we are ready to sacrifice anything," he said.

"Say to your enemies, the enemies of our Arab nation who are the foul Jewish usurpers, their covetous allies and all the colonialists and their abject servants: Stop abusing the Arab nation."

'Vicious schemes'

The Iraqi leader appeared to attack the US and Britain for their attempts to change the UN sanctions regime by lifting restrictions on civilian goods, tightening controls on arms-related products and clamping down on oil smuggling.

"We are arriving, with the help of God, the Almighty, at what pleases our friends and strikes our enemies with one disappointment after another," he said.

"Your enemies' vicious schemes will end up in the abyss," he added.

He said that Iraq was now stronger in its struggle against the US than before the 1991 Gulf War, and warned that Iraq had other resources besides oil.

"Our willpower and capability to build and to make choices are... stronger now than before the beginning of the confrontation in the eternal mother of all battles," he said.

"Although petroleum is an essential part of our great national resources, it is not the basis of our potential and willpower, and it will certainly not be a doorway to weakness in us," he added.

See also:

16 Jul 01 | Middle East
Syria ends 20-year Iraq snub
11 Jul 01 | Middle East
Iraq restarts oil exports
03 Jul 01 | Middle East
Iraqi diplomats 'defect to US'
16 Jan 01 | Middle East
Analysis: Saddam and the future
08 Jun 01 | Middle East
Timeline: Iraq
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