Thursday, September 19, 2002
(Stakeout with Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Borisovich Ivanov.)
Rumsfeld: [inaudible] but I don't know. The President and the leadership of Congress met and as I recall they're working on a resolution jointly. So one would think if they do that why --
Secretary Rumsfeld: [inaudible]
Q: Mr. Minister. Can we have just a word on Iraq? Why does Russia oppose the new U.N. Resolution on Iraq?
Ivanov: Well, I am not the foreign minister, but I can tell you I think from the very start we said that there should be unconditional receivement of international inspectors in Iraq. And being experienced in that sort of business, both Americans and Russians, I think we can easily establish whether there exists or not weapons of mass destruction technology, some sort of program, preparation of, "cooking" something which shouldn't be done.
Q: You think inspectors can do this?
Ivanov: I believe, yes.
Q: Do you believe the Iraqis --
Ivanov: As about the Resolution, it's none of my business to decide whether we need a Resolution -- We need one or we don't need one. But I think we should send the inspectors there.
Q: Sir, do you trust that the Iraqis will allow unconditional inspections anywhere the inspectors want to go? Do you believe the Iraqis?
Ivanov: Well, I think the inspectors should give that answer. It's not a question of trust or mistrust; it's a question of facts.
Rumsfeld: Thank you.