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CNN LIVE AT DAYBREAK

Iraq Denies Building Drone for Chem/Bio Drop

Aired March 12, 2003 - 06:05   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Iraqi officials have not commented publicly about the MOAB, but they are responding to U.S. charges about a drone aircraft.
For that and other developments out of Baghdad, we take you live with our Nic Robertson.

Hi -- Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fredricka.

Well, indeed, Iraqi officials took journalists today to see the drone in question. Now, according to a U.N. report by U.N. weapons chief Hans Blix, this particular drone is still under investigation by U.N. inspectors. They need to find out whether or not it's been modified for use with weapons of mass destruction, whether or not it can fly beyond the 150-kilometer limit set by U.N. Resolution 1441.

Now, Iraqi officials say that it cannot fly beyond that limit; that it is not for use with weapons of mass destruction.

The particular vehicle that they had on show for journalists today looked very rudimentary. It had bits of aluminum foil on it, bits of gaffers tape holding it together. Iraqi officials say that this is an RPV, a remotely piloted vehicle, and that it's designed for use with surveillance type equipment. That's Iraq's position. The U.N. says it's still investigating.

We've also seen President Saddam Hussein meeting on television with his top military commanders. His message to them: that Iraq would prefer peace to war, but not peace at any price, definitely, he said, not peace that would compromise their sovereignty. And he warned his soldiers when going into battle to minimize their own losses while at the same time maximizing the losses of the enemy -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, thank you, Nic.

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