Two more sites inspected in Iraq

28 November 2002

UN weapons inspectors have visited a plant in al-Dora and the al-Nasser factory north of Baghdad on their second day of inspections. The al-Dora plant was disabled last time inspectors were in the country. The other belongs to the Industry Ministry. The first day of inspections yesterday was assessed to have gone very smoothly, with the team leaders praising the Iraqis' co-operation (MEED 27:11:02). However US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz sought to keep up the pressure, reacting by stating that a genuine change of heart would be necessary for the inspections process to succeed, and that if Iraq continued to maintain it had no weapons programmes in the declaration due on 8 December, this would be a sign of non-co-operation.

Germany said yesterday that it would not accede to US requests to pledge military and other assistance in the event of war on Iraq. The request was recently made to 60 countries. Chancellor Schroder said that such a commitment was incompatible with the country's stance against an attack, but he did say that the US could use its military bases in Germany for assaults on Iraq and promised defence systems to Israel.

Looking to a possible post-Saddam Iraq, the US is continuing efforts to bring together fractious Iraqi opposition groups for a conference in London. According to London-based Iraqi National Congress, American mediation had settled the argument between the main factions over how many delegates each would have.

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