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Monday, 8 April, 2002, 18:59 GMT 19:59 UK
Saddam announces oil stoppage: Text
An Iraqi man at an oil pipeline
The Iraqi decision targets the US and Israel only
Following is the text of President Saddam Hussein's speech announcing that Iraqi oil exports will come to a halt for a period of 30 days, or until Israel withdraws from the territories.

"In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate. O Lord, let not our hearts deviate now after Thou hast guided us, but grant us mercy from Thee, for Thou art the Granter. [Koranic verse]

"O great people; O people of heroics, great deeds and glory; O people of faith, jihad, sacrifices, zeal and chivalry; O people of our glorious nation everywhere; O Arab mujahideen and strugglers; O people of Palestine; heroes, mujahideen, strugglers and heroines, may the peace and blessings of God be upon you.

What provokes every free, faithful and brave soul is what is taking place against our oppressed kinfolk in Palestine.

"The tyrannical US and Zionist enemy have underestimated the nation's resources and stand to the point of ridiculing these resources.

"In fact, they have used part of these resources against the nation's elite sons after persuading some people to accept the state of weakness and humiliation.

"What provokes every free, faithful and brave soul is what is taking place against our oppressed kinfolk in Palestine.

"The death, destruction and humiliation that is essentially directed against the Arab and Islamic nation and not the Palestinian heroes and heroines, who are facing the Zionist enemy and its aggressive armies with stones and simple weapons.

"Their main ammunition is the hearts that are filled with faith and optimism that the future will be for the Palestinians and the glorious nation, and not for the usurper Zionist entity and the US administration, the enemy of peoples and nations.

US and Israel

"Brothers, the Zionist aggression, which is killing our brothers and sisters and people in Palestine on television screens, occurred in accordance with a joint arrangement between the Zionist entity and the US administration.

"Its purpose is not only to occupy the Palestinian and Arab land, as happened in 1948 and 1967, but also to break the will of the Palestinians and the Arab will, and force it to surrender in humiliation and submission to the Zionist-US alliance.

President Saddam Hussein
The Palestinians have welcomed Saddam's gesture
"Destiny makes it incumbent on [the Palestinian] people to assume their share of honour and virtue and makes them an example before God, his peoples and history, in line with the weight of their ability and faith and action, when facing difficult circumstances and a hard test, in terms of their success in overcoming difficult paths with rates and degrees that please God and the people.

"The US and those who support it have lent a deaf ear to the savage massacres committed by the Zionist enemy against our people in Palestine after they have colluded with this entity against our people.

"Also, any element of wealth, if not used for the sake of raising faith, honour and virtue and for defending their meaning, turns into a burden and a weakness.

Enemies of the nation

"The enemies of the nation and humanity do not understand anything except for the practical language and the reactions that shake and influence their interests, contrary to what their evil and vile selves want.

"They are antagonising the nation, including the people of Palestine.

The US and those who support it have lent a deaf ear to the savage massacres committed by the Zionist enemy

"The Arab and Islamic masses, and even the honourable peoples in the world, have uttered their opinion and expressed their position in all the demonstrations and other means of protest against the enemy and have declared solidarity with the people of Palestine.

"Also, some Arab officials said what they could say and wanted to say. But this has not deterred the enemy and it has not stopped its cowardly attack, along with its tyrannical ally, the US administration, against the struggling, unarmed people of Palestine.

"The people of Palestine have nothing except the faith with which God has endowed them and their leadership.

One nation

"We are one nation, with the same fate and a common security.

"When someone is killed or when blood is shed in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Gaza, Jenin or Jerusalem, it is as if this blood, God forbid, was shed in any other Arab city.

"It is as if this blood is being shed in Baghdad, Mosul, Basra, Karbala, Salah al-Din, Irbil or any Iraqi city and village.

"In view of this, the Revolution Command Council and the Iraq Command of the Arab Socialist Ba'th Party and the Council of Ministers decided in a joint meeting held today, 8 April 2002, in the name of the loyal, faithful and struggler Iraqi people, the upholders of high values and the vanguards of their immortal nation, to stop oil exports completely as of this afternoon, 8 April, via the pipelines going to the Turkish port on the Mediterranean and via our ports in the south for a period of 30 days.

"Then we will reconsider [this decision] - or until the armies of the Zionist entity withdraw unconditionally from the Palestinian territories they have occupied and respect the will of the people of Palestine and the will of the Arab nation in its right to sovereignty, security, dignity and life.

With this decision, we want to sound the alarm and raise the nation's voice to remind all those who forget that God is great

"This decision basically targets the Zionist entity and the US policy of aggression, and not anyone else.

"This decision seeks to harm only those who have decided to harm the Arab nation, including the struggling and brave Palestinian people.

"This is so because harming the Palestinian people means harming every genuine believer in the world and our nation.

"With this decision, we want to sound the alarm and raise the nation's voice to remind all those who forget that God is great.

"Accursed be the lowly.

"God is Great, Wise and Powerful.

"We have great hopes that our Arab and Muslim brothers and all the believers will encourage our blessed step.

"We hope that oil owners will adopt similar steps and that other parties will adopt other steps, each according to the chances he has of carrying out an effective measure that would please God, the people, the demands of the nation and the dictates of faith in God.

"God is Great, God is Great.

"Accursed be the lowly."

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:

08 Apr 02 | Middle East
Iraq cuts off oil exports
05 Apr 02 | Business
Iran wields oil embargo threat
05 Apr 02 | Business
Analysis: Another oil embargo?
07 Apr 02 | Middle East
Anti-Israeli protests spread
19 Feb 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Iraq
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