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Friday, 26 July, 2002, 21:10 GMT 22:10 UK
Mubarak warns US against Iraq attack
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak(l) and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar(r)
Mr Mubarak held discussions with Jose Maria Aznar
President Mubarak of Egypt has issued a stern warning to the United States against launching an attack on Iraq.

Speaking in Madrid after a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, he said Washington should consider the consequences of such an attack, which could lead to many innocent victims.

Washington accuses Baghdad of trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction and has made it clear that it wants to see a change of regime in the country.

Meanwhile a group of US senators has said it will push for a new regime in Iran, which the senators said presents an equal or greater threat than Iraq in the war on terrorism.

Innocent victims

There have been persistent reports of American plans to strike Iraq, but the White House has said no decision has yet been taken.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
The US accuses Saddam of developing weapons of mass destruction
But the possibility of US military action has sparked concern among both Washington's European allies and Arab nations.

The Spanish prime minister emphasised the importance of the Iraqi government complying with international law, and allowing United Nations weapons inspectors to inspect Iraq's weapons facilities.

But the Egyptian leader went further, saying the US should think about the "consequences before and after" any attack which "would lead to the deaths of many innocent people".

He also used the press conference to express his concern about Israel's attack on Gaza city this week which left 15 people dead.

Threat from Iran

A bipartisan group of US lawmakers has said it wants Congress to call for a new regime in Iran.

"In the global war on the cancer of terrorism, our next strategic surgical focus needs to be Iran," said Senator Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican.

"There has been an enormous amount of attention and emphasis lately on Iraq, which I think is appropriate. But there has been very little discussion of the equally pernicious and dangerous nature of the Iranian regime," said Lantos, a senior Democrat.

However, the senators emphasised that the resolution did not call for US military action against the current Iranian government.

Iran is included with Iraq and North Korea in Bush's "axis of evil."


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26 Jul 02 | Politics
05 Jul 02 | Americas
15 Jul 02 | Middle East
18 Jul 02 | Hardtalk
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