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New Iraqi President Calls Saddam 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'

By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 20, 2004 – The new Iraqi president said he feels there must have been elements of weapons of mass destruction inside Iraq.

"Saddam (Hussein) used chemical weapons, he used (them) against Iraqis inside Iraq," said Ghazi al-Yawer.

Yawer agreed to speak briefly June 19 with American reporters in Baghdad accompanying Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. When asked to comment on the American political debate surrounding WMDs not being found in Iraq, Yawer said that wasn't the real issue.

"After all, the real issue is, 'Was (Saddam) a destabilizing factor in the area?' Definitely he was," Yawer said. "He was a weapon of mass destruction by himself."

Yawer said he was opposed to "military interference" in Iraq at the outset of coalition operations to get rid of Saddam, but soon became a believer.

"Every time I look at it, I find out (that) without a military interference we wouldn't have got rid of Saddam," he said. "The major good thing is we got rid of the most vicious regime that established a dynasty of villains in Iraq."

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