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Breakfast with Frost
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Hussam Amin, Head of Iraqi weapons monitoring directorate
BBC BREAKFAST WITH FROST INTERVIEW: GENERAL HUSSAM AMIN, Head of Iraqi weapons monitoring directorate FEBRUARY 2ND, 2003

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

DAVID FROST: Well the Prime Minister came back from his meeting with President Bush yesterday effectively warning Saddam Hussein that he had just six weeks to avoid a war. He said he was confident that he would get support for a second United Nations resolution, which he seems slightly keener on than President Bush, anyway before the launch of the attack on Iraq. Now Hans Blix, as we heard in the news, is due to go back to Baghdad at the end of this week, February 8th, it seems the momentum though is heading towards war. But that meeting will take place six days before the next report. I'll be talking with the Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon, in a moment, but first I'm joined from Baghdad, by General Hussam Amin, the head of the Iraqi weapons monitoring directorate, which means he is the man responsible for talking to Hans Blix. General are you there?

GENERAL AMIN: Yes please, I'm with you.

DAVID FROST: Very good - we'll try and switch up the sound on you a bit there if we can, it's a bit difficult to hear. This meeting, this meeting on February 8th that you're having with others and with Hans Blix, looks as though it might be the last chance to avert a war. Do you think you can make proposals for further cooperation with the inspectors that will satisfy them?

GENERAL AMIN: Well we indeed always are appealing and advising Mr Hans Blix's inspectors to conduct such tactical meetings to achieve some progress in resolving the some difficulties, overcome some difficulties and to resolve some points of differences and we hope that the coming talks with Mr Hans Blix and El Baradei will be on the context of the mutual wish to overcome these difficulties and we're, we are the side who invited for such talks and we are keen to create some progress and to show our desire, real desire to avoid any misunderstanding between Iraq and UNMOVIC and IAEA from the other side.

DAVID FROST: And do you feel, have you got a proposal to make, a new proposal to make that may help things?

GENERAL AMIN: Of course any meeting, any meeting between both sides will make some progress and we are preparing ourselves to make technical discussions and we shall, we are preparing ourselves to make some verifications with regard to some points that the UNMOVIC and IAEA consider as important and of some priority for them.

DAVID FROST: But in fact, last Sunday when he was here, the Prime Minister was talking about the way that your people will not let scientists be interviewed by the inspectors, only with an official presence, an Iraqi official present, and that families have been told that if they cooperate or give any information at all they will be executed. And today Colin Powell is saying that he has evidence of where the inspectors have been bugged, bugged by secret microphones and so on, what - those are things that you've got to either stop doing or convince us that you are not doing.

GENERAL AMIN: Okay, first I will talk to you Sir David with regard to the private interviews of the scientists, we are encouraging the scientist to conduct such interviews with UNMOVIC with the IAEA but the final decision, is a personal decision, we are encouraging them, we are making them available for UNMOVIC and the IAEA the last request was yesterday, they requested to interview one expert and we made him available at the site and the time they requested, but he himself requested that a minder, a witness should come and conduct the interview with him, and he insisted on this. They tried to make him convinced to make the interview alone but he wasn't convinced and we really let them the UNMOVIC expert chief inspectors talk to him directly but he didn't. We cannot force the scientists to make such interviews and if anybody of them to make the private interview alone, okay we are encouraging them on that.

DAVID FROST: Thank you very much general for joining us there. We appreciate it very much indeed.

INTERVIEW ENDS


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