Expelled Iraqi warns of attacks on Western targets

January 05, 1991|By Judy Anderson | Judy Anderson,London Bureau of The Sun

LONDON -- An expelled Iraqi diplomat warned yesterday that Western countries would become targets for sabotage attacks by Arabs if war broke out in the Persian Gulf.

"If Iraq is going to be attacked, all Western countries will have targets to be hit, and Britain has allied itself with the Americans in this warfare," press counselor Naiel Abdul-Jabbar Hassan told reporters at Heathrow Airport before boarding a plane to Jordan.

"Arabs here and in all Western countries will launch something against many targets if a war is launched against Iraq. . . . It is not a matter of trying to carry on the war in one area only."

Mr. Hassan was one of six expelled Iraqi diplomats on the Royal Jordanian Airlines flight to Amman.

Asked whether there were Iraqis prepared to carry out attacks on Western targets, Mr. Hassan said, "Every Arab person living abroad will do that. It is not a matter of Iraq pushing them; it is a matter of belief."

The press counselor was among eight Iraqi Embassy staff -- seven diplomats and a security guard --ordered out of the country Thursday within 24 hours for security reasons.

Sixty-seven other Iraqis -- some businessmen but the majority students -- were also expelled "for reasons of national security." They were given a week's notice.

Mr. Hassan protested that the expulsions were "unfair, unjust and part of the psychological warfare against Iraq. They [the Foreign Office] know very well that we are not such dangerous people," he said. "I have obeyed the law here. I have not done anything against that. How are we a danger?"

A Foreign Office spokesman, responding to Mr. Hassan's parting remarks, said: "This serves to justify the decision that has been taken."

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