Official Says Iraq Has No Links to Terror

AP Wire Service

ROME – Iraq’s deputy prime minister insisted Friday that his country has no relationship with terrorists and warned Europe against joining Washington in a war, saying participation would be seen as a crusade against Arabs and Muslims.

Tariq Aziz, speaking to reporters in Rome several hours after meeting with Pope John Paul.II, did not immediately comment on the reports the chief U.N. weapons inspectors delivered to the U.N. Security Council on Friday.

The inspectors indicated there was cooperation but that Iraq could still do more to resolve the question of whether it is complying with U.N. disarmament resolutions.

Ariz said the Bush administration’s contention that Baghdad supports terrorists or could supply them with weapons was a “bad American movie.”

“First of all Iraq doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction,” the Iraqi said. “Iraq doesn’t have any relationship with any terrorist, fundamentalist group.”

Contending that Washington has an “imperialist objective” to “colonize” Iraq, Aziz cautioned European nations against supporting Washington in any war against Iraq.

“It would be interpreted in the Arab world as a crusade against Arabs and Muslims,” Aziz said.