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For immediate release
November 11, 2002
Contact:
NPR: Jenny Lawhorn
202-513-2754
jlawhorn@npr.org

Condoleezza Rice Discusses U.S. Position On Iraq
One-on-One Interview with NPR's Tavis Smiley to Air November 12

LOS ANGELES, CA- National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice will appear on The Tavis Smiley Show from NPR® on November 12, 2002 to discuss the recent, unanimous U.N. resolution on Iraq, her role in shaping U.S. foreign policy and the possibility that the U.S. and Iraq will go to war.

During the interview, Smiley asked Rice if the resolution puts the U.S. closer to war. "This resolution does not put us closer to war," said Rice. "What this resolution does is it gives us a chance to solve this problem by other means if, in fact, Saddam Hussein can be forced to cooperate. But we should not really here try to avoid the circumstances if he does not cooperate. The President has always said that war is not…his first choice; it's his last choice. Nonetheless, you have to note that the threat of the use of force is why we are where we are today. It's the only reason that the Iraqi regime is considering cooperation, and we have to keep maximum pressure on this regime, we have to keep in a sense a gun pointed to the head of the Iraqi regime because that's the only way that they cooperate."

On the Arab League's influence over Saddam Hussein, Rice said, "...I hope that the voices are telling him that he needs to cooperate unequivocally and without any reservation, because the fact is that no one, the Arab League, nobody else can save him if him if he tries now to do what he's done for all these years-deceive and hunt and peck and hide. He has got to come through unequivocally. And I hope that was really the message from the Arab League."

Speaking about the resolutions, Rice said, "the key here is that, after eleven years, Saddam Hussein is in violation of a number of resolutions that were passed. This particular resolution deals with disarming him of his weapons of mass destruction, and the reason, Tavis, that we got into a regime change policy was that no one ever believed that this regime was going to behave in a way that would be consistent with its obligations. Now he's got one last chance to do that. But I want to repeat, this is a test of his willingness to cooperate, not a test of the inspectors' ability to go and find something. We hope he cooperates. We hope that we can do this peacefully and disarm him. He then, however, has-the world has to face the fact that he still has a number of obligations that he needs to meet. He swore to the United Nations that he was going to stop repressing his people. It's a little hard to imagine Saddam Hussein not repressing his people. But we should not forget that he does have other obligations that he has to fulfill."

Smiley's one-on-one interview with Rice will air on November 12 on The Tavis Smiley Show from NPR, a weekday, one-hour talk magazine presenting news and ideas from an African-American perspective, broadcast on nearly 50 public radio stations across the U.S. and on the Web at npr.org. (Visit npr.org to find stations and broadcast times). Audio from the November 12 program will be available after 9 a.m. ET at www.npr.org/programs/tavis.


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