MiddleEast.org - Mid-East Realities
: "Iraqi Charge d'Affaires: Iraq on Threshold of a 'Legal Revolution'
By Mohsen Mandegari
TEHRAN TIMES -- Today is the sixth day UN arms inspectors have started work in Iraq in search for the country's reported chemical and nuclear arsenals. Yet, they have yet found nothing in their unhindered hectic searches, provoking suggestions that Baghdad had been right in denying U.S. accusations that the country possesses deadly weapons.
Still, Washington has not been waiting to see what the outcome of UN arms inspections will be, and is pouring its forces and military hardware into the Persian Gulf to begin a long-expected campaign that already seems inevitable, irrespective of inspection results.
Iraq's Charge d'Affaires in Tehran Abdulsattar al-Rawi in an interview with the TEHRAN TIMES said that UN inspectors can prove to the world that the remarks of U.S. President George W. Bush are 'sheer lies', stressing that the White House merely is seeking a pretext to wage a war on Iraq.
Al-Rawi announced that Iraq will soon enter a new era: a legal revolution will take place in its political landscape whereby freedom of expression will be granted and political parties will be permitted.
I believe that during the coming year, Iraq will witness some sea changes, he said. New groups are to enter the Iraq political landscape. There is going to be a new Iraqi strategy. This is to be unveiled in the next few weeks.
On the recognition of the dissident groups by the new constitution, he said every country loves its true children. Following the new changes everything is going to be different. Every Iraqi citizen interested in transforming his or her country has to begin from within Iraq.
Elaborating on the reasons for the acceptance of the UN 1441 Resolution, Al-Rawi said, Baghdad's decision to accept the Security Council Resolution 1441, which is American and not UN engineered, has been in line with the country's policy to cooperate with the UN.
Still, he stressed that by accepting the resolution, the Iraqi government tried to demonstrate that what its leadership says about U.S. charges against Iraq regarding weapons of mass destruction is true. Washington's accusations are 'utter lies,' he undelined.
On the other hand, al-Rawi said, Iraq has tried to foil U.S. ploys by accepting the resolution, and has tried not to give a pretext to the U.S. to attack the country.
'Now, by the return of UN inspectors to Iraq, the international community will realize that Washington's allegations against Baghdad are all nothing but 'lies'. This is the best opportunity for Iraq to reveal the hypocritical and war-mongering identity of the U.S. to the world,' he added.
However, he warned, the idea of overthrow of government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussain will remain a dream for Baghdad's internal or external enemies that will never be materialized as the realities in Iraq are so different from what our enemies are yearning to get. 'Iraq is not like a desert the inhabitants of which will hold their hands up to surrender to the U.S.,' al-Rawi said. 'The Iraqi people are already determined to withstand any foreign aggression to the last drop of their blood. People have become united to deal a heavy blow to the U.S. once it starts the war on our country.'
Iraqi charge d'Affaires in Tehran said Baghdad never advocates war, and that it is the U.S. that is seeking war and bloodshed. Dialogue and peace, he stressed, are the best solution to the settlement of disputes.
Asked what about the list of weapons the Iraqi is going to submit to UN arms inspectors, al-Rawi said Baghdad will provide the details of its weapons to the world body, but regretted that many of inquiries in that connection are beyond the ability of Iraq.
We expect the UN not to ask us to carry out its 'unrealistic demands,' he said.
'UN demands are like a 'mine field' in front of Iraq. They are waiting to see if Iraq takes a wrong step so that they may drag the country into a war. But we never advocate a war, and cherish real peace,' al-Rawi said.
The Iraqi official further called the resolution 1441 'complicated in which very fine and delicate points are included'. 'Resolution 1441 is a trap devised to ensnare Iraq, but, God-willing, we will put this crisis behind,' he said. 'We know what they are looking for. So, we will act in a way to frustrate U.S. efforts to start a war against Iraq.'
Al-Rawi said Iraq is ready to cooperate with the UN, but regretted that the Security Council has not adopted a just and fair approach toward Baghdad.
He further urged Muslim nations to call on the UN and Secretary General Kofi Annan to have arms inspectors consider justice and fairness in their activities in Iraq.
'We will furnish the UN with documented data that we absolutely possess no weapons of mass destruction. We have also provided the world body with necessary information on the weapons we have destroyed so far. But Iraq never requires such arms as long as there exist brave Iraqi men and women,' the official said.
Asked to comment on President Bush remark claiming that Iraq had hidden its weapons of mass destruction or even buried them, the Iraqi envoy said, these are ridiculous lies. The UN weapons inspectors are now in Iraq, and they are able to prove how stupid Bush's claims are. Bush is a warmongering moron who knows nothing but war.
Unfortunately we are dealing with someone who knows nothing about international politics. He is after reviving colonialism. Even the American people have realized this. If you look at his administration you see such characters as Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Powell, who exude hostility and evilness.
Asked why isn't Iraq adopting policies that would foil their objectives, he said, we are trying to avoid war and are asking other countries to assist us in our efforts. Islamic countries are duty-bound to help us evade war.
On the measures Iraq has undertaken to prevent a war, Al-Rawi said, I believe that the U.S. will never stop its lies. In spite of our acceptance of the UN resolution, they continue their threats. We will continue our cooperation with the UN, but should the U.S. wage a war on us we will defend ourselves to the bitter end.
On whether Iraq will fully cooperate with the UN to avoid what U.S. continues terms as 'grave consequences', he said as I mentioned, our cooperation will be complete. But we wanted the inspection team to contain members form Arab countries as well and not to be merely composed of Westerners or American and Israeli spies. We want an objective inspection.
In pre-1998 inspections, Iraq had accused some of the inspectors as spies, which of course was confirmed later.
On his assessment of the current team, Al-Rawi said, we hope this time around things would be different. Of course the espionage doesn't take place in an overt manner. But the head of the team, Hands Belix, has assured that he will prevent any spying form taking place.
We believe him until we see otherwise. We want to reach a framework for honest and full cooperation.
On the reaction of Iraq in case any espionage were detected, he said, we will talk about it then.
Asked to comment on a *****Washington Post ******* report indicating that the White House was pushing the inspectors to come up with some kind of evidence that could be construed as a violation, the Iraqi diplomat said, we will surely try to prevent any such event in order to safeguard our independence.
Touching on Powell's remark that the U.S. will wage a war even in the heat of summer if Iraq tries to postponed the war, he said, we are only thinking about peace not war. We have said to the world leaders that we have no weapons of mass destruction. We are not seeking war. For the first time the countries of both East and West are unanimous on one issue, that is, opposition to war, for everyone is tired of American warmongering. They have all realized that the U.S. is seeking to rearrange the map of the region in line with its hegemonic designs.
Asked whether the Iraqi government will hold talks with such opposition groups as the Supreme Assembly or the National Congress, Al-Rawi said, we hope that all Iraqis, inside and ouside the country, would cooperate in the realization of this new era. We need everyone's assistance to rebuild Iraq. At this stage our sole enemy is the U.S. Is it conceivable that an Iraqi would fight on the side of the United States against his own country? Any group interested in the glory of Iraq should return to Iraq and begin working from within the country.
On the willingness of the Iraqi government to share power with the opposition groups, he said, Iraq's doors are open to everyone. We have announced our readiness. But are those who are sitting in America and look to an American domination of Iraq, willing to defend their country? On the possible attempts made to hold negotiations with the opposition, he said, we have not tried, for we live in a country like Iraq. Anyone shaking hands with the enemy is not a patriot."