Originally created 01/25/03

White House says time is running out for Iraq



WASHINGTON -- President Bush said Tuesday he has seen no evidence that Saddam Hussein is disarming, and warned that "time is running out" for him to do so.

"I'm sick and tired of games and deception, that's my view of timetables," Bush said.

Chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix said inspectors need months to finish searching Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, but Bush said he is growing more impatient with Iraq and what the administration says is Baghdad's refusal to cooperate with inspectors.

Though the White House has often said time is running out, it has refused to provide Bush's timetable.

"The United Nations spoke with one voice - we said we expect Saddam Hussein, for the sake of peace, to disarm," Bush said.

"That's the question: Is Saddam Hussein disarming? ... So far I haven't seen any evidence that he is disarming. Time is running out on Saddam Hussein; He must disarm."

The remarks came as U.S. allies urged the Bush administration to give U.N. inspectors time to carry out their work in Iraq. The inspection team has not reported evidence that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction, but the White House insists the arsenals are being hidden.

The inspectors are due to report Jan. 27 on the first 60 days of inspections. Richard Boucher, the State Department spokesman, said Tuesday "it's not the end of an inspection process" but "it's a very important date."

"We and other members of the Security Council will have to decide on steps at that point," Boucher said.