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EDITIONS
Friday, 27 September, 2002, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Arab press unswayed by Blair dossier
Saddam Hussein
President Saddam remains defiant

The fraught relationship between Iraq and the West continues to dominate newspapers in the Gulf and Middle East region, with the Iraqi press sending out a defiant message to Washington and London.


Blair's dossier has not been blessed by anyone except the criminal Bush

Al-Iraq

Sympathy for Iraq is evident in many newspapers throughout the region.

Iraq's pro-government Al-Iraq cocks a snook at the British "dossier" unveiled earlier this week, calling British Prime Minister Tony Blair "the laughing stock of the world".

Mr Blair, it says, is "the butt of jokes because of the lies and the blatant misrepresentations contained in his dossier" which "has not been blessed by anyone except the criminal Bush".

"Blair has failed to convince British MPs that his policy towards Iraq is correct, and his file has failed to secure their support for this policy."


Dossier a publicity stunt for Bush's war

Al-Hayah

An editorial in the ruling Baath Party paper Al-Thawrah slams the dossier for being "fabricated" and "desperate", adding that it failed to substantiate its claims Iraq is producing weapons of mass destruction.

The daily published by Saddam Hussein's son, Uday, Babil, declares: "Blair's dossier is false". An editorial says it is based on a mixture of "predictions and intentions" rather than facts, a poor basis for leveling serious accusations.

Hidden agenda

Meanwhile, a commentary in Al-Iraq by Dr Wisal al-Izzawi asks "Who benefits from attacking Iraq".

Dr Al-Izzawi is in no doubt the motive is to gain control of the country's oil wealth, which, he says, represents 65% of the world's oil reserves. This would enable the USA "to achieve globalization and control the world".

Elsewhere, the influential London-based pan-Arab Al-Hayah describes the Blair dossier as "just a publicity stunt for Bush's war. It has failed to convince".


America wants all Iraq's creative brains

Al-Quds Al-Arabi

In Saudi Arabia, the independent pro-government Al-Riyadh praises Iraq for "speaking in an unusually reasonable way". Baghdad agreed to "open up all its places and secret centres for inspection".

Al-Khalij, a leftist paper in the United Arab Emirates, points to US hypocrisy in insisting Iraq fulfils all UN resolutions while allowing Israel to flout those concerning its own actions in the region.

In Sudan, Al-Ra'y Al-Am, warns that America's strategy is "to tighten its grip on the Arab region and give a leading role to Israel".

Oman's pro-government Al-Watan says the Bush administration has "so far failed to convince the world the war against Iraq is legitimate and justifiable".

'Hurricane'

For the London-based Arab nationalist daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Washington is seeking more than just Saddam's demise.

"It is obvious that the current US Administration wants the head of the [Iraqi] regime, then the regime itself, then all Iraqi creative brains in all fields, especially the military one."

Egypt's pro-government Al-Ahram is alarmed as it considers the Middle East is "on the threshold of a frightening hurricane".

"Where are we going? Since 11 September, force has become the only language governing international relations, and international law is no longer used to settle conflicts."


A change in Iraq can only benefit its people

Al-Nahar

Iran's Arabic-language Al-Vefagh makes the usual link.

"This [US] administration moves in accordance with its interests and the interests dictated by the Zionist lobby in America."

One of the few journals to buck the trend is Lebanon's centrist Al-Nahar.

"A change in Iraq can only benefit its people," it said.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

See also:

26 Sep 02 | Americas
26 Sep 02 | Middle East
21 Sep 02 | Country profiles
26 Sep 02 | World
26 Sep 02 | Middle East
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