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EDITIONS
Thursday, 5 December, 2002, 13:11 GMT
Saddam statement: Excerpts
Saddam Hussein (L), Izzat Ibrahim, Taha Yasin Ramadan
Saddam's top aides came to wish him happy Id al-Fitr

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has said that he is prepared to give UN weapons inspectors a chance to prove that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction.

This is his first comment on weapons inspections since they resumed their work a week ago.

He was addressing his top aides and cabinet ministers who came to congratulate him on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

The following are excerpts from the statement as carried by the Iraqi news agency INA:

I wish you all well with every Eid. I pray to God that things shall be better next year; that you shall not face any irritations of the type you are well aware of, and that the stones they throwing at you shall fall on their heads, God willing.

We also implore God that Arabs, Muslims and all the faithful on the face of the Earth shall be in a better state of affairs, and the evil doers, wherever they are, in a worse state, God willing.

Patient people

... For some 700 years, and up to our present time, Iraqis were described by those who briefly come into contact with them, or rather they describe themselves too, that they have little patience.

But this facade doesn't reflect their true nature because patience, in addition to being a historic accumulation inherited along with other characteristics by the people, is based on practice, training and preparation...

The Iraqis, of whom we are part, do not like the colours falling between white and black, except in clothes and in certain aspects of nature.

Before the Revolution [of 1968 which brought the Ba'th Party to power] and during the underground period of struggle, we used to count on this.

After the Revolution, and while we were musing and thinking of all the accomplishments that were tackling our imagination, having depended on God to serve the people, we found nothing but the patience of the Iraqi people to guide us in our daily life...

Black and white

The Iraqis, of whom we are part, do not like the colours falling between white and black, except in clothes and in certain aspects of nature.

Saddam accepting congratulations
Saddam congratulated his aides on Id al-Fitr
But in the case of making a stand, they like to deal with their enemies standing in one trench and the enemies in another, with a long-enough distance separating the two trenches to avoid overlapping.

That's why you find them ingenious in using the sword, but are not always good at manoeuvring...

Thus, you have been tested in all fields, and have come out successful before God, your nation and your people...

'Plain evil'

We are entering a new field: plain evil and plain cowardice by the parties supposed to voice an opinion and make a stand, not in defence of Iraq because Iraq doesn't need any party to defend it as it relies on God Almighty...

Iraq, in a humanitarian sense, has defended every honourable, patriotic person against the unjust, arrogant and debased American tyrant. It has borne the brunt of 12 years of fighting, aggression and the well-known embargo...

We shall provide them [the weapons inspectors] with such a chance, after which if the weaklings remain weak and the cowardly remain coward, we shall take the stand that befits our people, principles and mission.

The basis, however, as explained in the foreign minister's letter [to the UN Security Council], is to keep our people out of harm's way.

Given the current international situation some might say you didn't give us a proper chance to resist, with tangible evidence, the US allegations that Iraq might have produced weapons of mass destruction during the inspectors' absence.

Give inspection a chance

Therefore, we shall provide them [weapons inspectors] with such a chance, after which if the weaklings remain weak and the cowardly remain coward, we shall take the stand that befits our people, principles and mission.

Victory will be yours always, God willing, as will be the superiority in faith, which is the basis of every type of superiority in life, for he whose faith is not superior shall not succeed...

Lest we miss one very important thing, it is imperative that we commend our heroic people of Palestine, hailing in particular the Jihadist spirit of those willing to sacrifice their lives to defend the nation and mankind, too...

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:

05 Dec 02 | Middle East
04 Dec 02 | Media reports
04 Dec 02 | Middle East
04 Dec 02 | Middle East
04 Dec 02 | Europe
17 Oct 02 | Country profiles
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