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2/21/03 - POWELL AT THE U-N - 2003-02-21

United Nations Security Council resolution fourteen forty-one returned U-N weapons inspectors to Iraq. What is now needed is for the Iraqi regime to give full, active, and unconditional cooperation to the inspectors. That is not happening.

Iraq has not provided adequate and verifiable documentation about its weapons of mass destruction. Iraq has not verifiably accounted for anthrax or chemical weapons. “These are not trivial matters,” said U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. “We have not had a complete, accurate declaration.” Mr. Powell said that there is still no “substantive change in thinking on the part of the Iraqi regime. No matter how make the inspection [process], if Iraq is not cooperating, if Iraq is not complying with the resolution, you’re not going to get...the disarmament of Iraq.”

Secretary of State Powell said, “We must continue to put pressure on make sure that the threat of force is not removed, because [U-N resolution fourteen-forty-one] was all about compliance, not inspections. The inspections were put in as a assist Iraq in coming forward and complying, in order to verify, in order to monitor.”

“Force,” said Mr. Powell, “should always be a last resort. The reason we must not look away from it is because [of Iraq’s arsenal]. These are terrible weapons...that will kill not a few people, not a hundred people, not a thousand people, but that could kill tens of thousands of people if these weapons got into the wrong hands.”

U-N resolution fourteen-forty-one calls for Iraq’s disarmament. The resolution does not call for a process of inspections that go on forever without ever resolving the basic problem. Iraq must disarm. As Secretary of State Powell put it, “The question of war and peace is up to Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi regime.”