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Iraq: U.S. Officials Invited To Visit Weapons Sites

Baghdad, 10 October 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Iraq today invited the United States to inspect sites that Washington suspects Iraq is using to produce weapons of mass destruction. At a press conference in Baghdad, the minister responsible for Iraq's weapons programs, Abdul Tawab Mullah Haweish, also reiterated Iraq's denials that it has any weapons of mass destruction or plans to produce them.

Haweish said Iraq will teach the United States an "unforgettable lesson" if it launches a military action against Iraq. The United States has threatened to use force to make Iraq dismantle its suspected weapons of mass destruction.

Later today, the U.S. House of Representatives is due to vote on a resolution authorizing President George W. Bush to take military action against Iraq, if he decides such action is necessary. The U.S. Senate may vote on a similar measure as early as tomorrow.

The United States is also seeking support for a new United Nations Security Council resolution that would demand that Iraq disarm or face military action.