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Bush says war with Iraq last option

By KATHY A. GAMBRELL, UPI White House Reporter

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- President George W. Bush said Saturday that war is the last option for confronting Iraq should Saddam Hussein not comply with the United Nations demand to disclose the country's cache of weapons of mass destruction.

"The world expects more than Iraq's cooperation with inspections. The world expects and requires Iraq's complete and prompt disarmament. It is not enough for Iraq to merely open doors for inspectors," Bush said during his weekly radio address.

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"Compliance means bringing all requested information and evidence into full view, to show that Iraq has abandoned the deceptions of the past decade."

Bush's comments come as Baghdad was turning over to the United Nations a 13,000-page declaration detailing its biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs. Media reports out of the region said Iraq had denied having any weapons programs. The White House declined to comment.

Bush said that so far, the United States has not seen a fundamental shift in Iraq's practice or attitude. Its letters to the United Nations, Bush said, showed their attitude "grudging and conditional." He said Iraq has fired on American and British pilots enforcing the United Nation's no-fly zone.

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Iraq showed its immense report on weapons materials to reporters as it was being turned over to United Nations officials Saturday. However, Bush has said he has little confidence that Hussein has been forthcoming in the report.

The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution mandating that Iraq produce a declaration on its weapons of mass destruction or face consequences from the international community.

"The U.N. Security Council and the United States have told Saddam Hussein, the game is over. Saddam Hussein will fully disarm himself of weapons of mass destruction, and if he does not, America will lead a coalition to disarm him," Bush said Saturday.

Officials expected it would take a week or longer for the document to be translated.

The U.N. Security Council had decided Friday to place Iraq's weapons of mass destruction declaration, expected this weekend, only in the hands of weapons inspectors at first -- citing legal and security reasons -- and to receive a preliminary assessment of it from them next week before it is circulated any more widely.

Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso of Colombia, this month's rotating president of the Security Council, announced the decision after hearing a briefing from the chief weapons inspector, Chairman Hans Blix of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission.

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Bush said that inspections would work only if Iraq complies "fully and in good faith." He said inspectors do not have a duty or the ability to uncover weapons hidden in the country. Their responsibility, he said, was to confirm evidence of voluntary and total disarmament. Hussein had the responsibility to provide that evidence, Bush said.


(With reporting from William Reilly in New York.)

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