SADDAM HUSSEIN'S chief weapons adviser last night challenged the Bush administration to prove its accusations that Iraq still holds weapons of mass destruction.
General Amer al-Saadi issued the challenge as a 12,000-page document supposed to detail all Iraqi weapons of mass destruction arrived at the International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in Vienna and was flown to the United Nations in New York for scrutiny.
However, Iraq has used the report to again assert that it has no illegal chemical or biological weapons, banned long-range missiles or a clandestine nuclear programme. "Our report is accurate, comprehensive and truthful. If they have anything to the contrary, let them come forth with it. Give it to the UN. They are here. They can check it. Why play this game?" General al-Saadi said.
In the absence of any admission from Iraq about banned weaponry, attention may focus on the available intelligence, to persuade international public opinion that a war on Iraq is worth fighting.
Yesterday, the Bush administration came under pressure from US officials who argued that it was strategically important to publicly make the case that Iraq is lying. "We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence" of President Saddam's weapons programme, the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, Bob Graham, said. …