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Iraq Refuses to Relent on Arms Documents

November 25, 1998| From Times Wire Services

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi government pledged not to relent in its standoff with the United Nations over documents on its weapons programs, sending hundreds of people into the streets Tuesday to protest U.N. sanctions.

The government's tough words came a day after it acknowledged an assassination attempt on one of its most powerful officials.

The assailant was reportedly shot and killed during the attack on Izzat Ibrahim, vice chairman of the influential Revolutionary Command Council.

In Baghdad, hundreds of Iraqis arrived by bus for a government-orchestrated demonstration outside U.N. headquarters to denounce their suffering under the sanctions imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.

In New York, the Security Council on Tuesday "fully supported" the work of U.N. weapons inspectors but failed to admonish Iraq over failing to hand over the sensitive arms documents.

Russia blocked a British-drafted statement indicating that Baghdad was not complying with its Nov. 15 promise to cooperate with weapons inspectors. Moscow's ambassador wants a discussion first on whether the documents being requested really exist, diplomats attending the council meeting said.

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