Iraqi officials lash out at Kofi Annan

Iraq has accused the United Nations Secretary General of helping the US-led attack on Iraq by withdrawing peacekeepers and weapons inspectors from their country.

Iraq has accused the United Nations Secretary General of helping the US-led attack on Iraq by withdrawing peacekeepers and weapons inspectors from their country.

Iraq’s ambassador to the UN, Mohammed Al-Douri, also denounced Kofi Annan for not “condemning or deploring the attack”. A spokesman for the secretary general said he would issue a written response later today.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan weighed in, accusing the UN General Secretariat of playing “the role of the colonialist high commissioner with the Iraqi people”.

The withdrawal of the peacekeepers who had patrolled the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border was “a blatant violation of UN responsibilities” with “no legal or moral justification” and was “in line with the aggressive US-British scheme, which violates international law,” Ramadan said.

He also criticised a proposal by Annan for allowing the UN to run the oil-for-food programme not just in Iraq’s north but throughout the country and for refugees fleeing the US-led war.

The vice president said the proposal was “based on a colonialist, racist and despicable illusion that pushes the despot oppressors in Washington and London towards eliminating the state of Iraq from existence.”

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