Iraq`s Ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammed al-Douri, told me by telephone this morning that "If my country is attacked, it will defend itself with conventional weapons, but as we do not have chemical or biological weapons, there is no reason why there is speculation that we would use them."
Amb. Al-Douri said he has read the CIA report that says Iraq would be more likely to use chem/bio weapons if it is attacked and "it makes no sense to us, as the CIA must know we do not possess such weapons. And if they are not sure, we have invited Hans Blix and UNMOVIC to come as soon as they wish to see for themselves."
Al-Douri said all chemical weapons Iraq acquired in the war against Iran have been accounted for and destroyed by UNSCOM and if facilities were reconstituted for making new such weapons, they would be easily found by the Blix team.
The ambassador said he is aware that Scott Ritter, the UNSCOM inspector responsible for finding concealed weapons of mass destruction in the 1991-97 years, has recently said flatly that "Iraq does not possess biological weapons," as any materials it may have hidden would by now have become useless through degradation.
Al-Douri also told me he was disappointed there had been no further progress in work on a UN resolution that would clear the way for new inspections, as the US has been postponing such work while awaiting action by the US Congress.