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Iraq: Government To Rally Support In Europe Against U.S.

Prague, 1 September 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Iraq says it will send envoys to European capitals to rally support against U.S. efforts to overthrow the regime of President Saddam Hussein. Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan told the official Iraq News Agency today that his country wants to explain the "dangers" the American plans pose for world security. The announcement comes after EU foreign ministers called on Iraq to allow the return of United Nations weapons inspectors.

Also today, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said the international community needs to begin a fresh debate on the situation in Iraq, so as to arrive at a judgement about what should be done there.

In an interview broadcast by the BBC, Powell said the world needs to see the evidence, including intelligence information, about the threat posed by Iraq. U.S. President George W. Bush has said he intends to oust Saddam. Powell has not joined Bush in calling for a regime change.

In Tehran today, the Iranian and Turkish foreign ministers voiced their opposition to any U.S. assault against Iraq.