- The Washington Times - Friday, February 14, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 14 (UPI) — President Saddam Hussein issued a decree Friday banning individuals and companies from producing or importing weapons of mass destruction.

The ban on chemical, biological and nuclear weapons was to take effect immediately and was issued some hours before U.N. chief arms inspector Hans Blix and Muhammad ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency presented reports to the Security Council on the outcome of arms inspections in Iraq.

A statement issued at the end of a meeting between Saddam and his closest aides, Deputy President of the Revolutionary Command Council Izzat Ibrahim Douri, Deputy President Taha Yassin Ramadan, and leadership member Ali Hassan al-Majid, reaffirmed that Iraq was free of weapons of mass destruction and that the United States and Britain could no longer use that pretext to justify their aggression.

Western analysts pointed out that al-Majod is widely known as "Chemical Ali" for his role in the employment by Saddam of chemical weapons against Iraqi Kurds in 1988.

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