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Iraq: Official Says Missiles Not Serious Violation

Rome, 13 February 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said today that a missile which Russian and U.S. officials say exceeds UN-imposed limits isn't a serious violation and isn't dangerous. Aziz, who arrived in Rome for three days of meetings, including talks with Pope John Paul II, said at the airport that "the question of missiles should not be exaggerated."

Aziz also said the Iraqi missiles are very short-range and they don't have a guidance system, which causes them to go 5 to 10 to 15 kilometers beyond their range. Aziz said Iraqi missiles are still within the limits that have been decided by the UN.