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Excerpts from the Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer on October 8, 2002 (Full transcript)

QUESTION: Ari, last night the President said that by complying with demands that he laid out for Iraq, that it could "change the nature of the regime itself." Does this amount to a revision of the policy of regime change?

MR. FLEISCHER: No, it's a repeat of what he said at the United Nations. In his speech at the United Nations, the President had the six "if" paragraphs. He six times referred to "if a regime in a Iraq will," "if the regime in Iraq will," "if the regime in Iraq will." And his point was if the regime in Iraq will abide by international laws, disarm, stop repression of minorities, stop hostility toward its neighbors, the President's six specific "if" clauses, then the regime would have changed its very nature. And that's a reiteration of that message.

The bottom line is, the world needs the Iraqi regime to disarm, to stop using hostility as a method of dealing with its neighbors; to stop repression of minorities; to give an accounting of the people its held as prisoners. And the regime under Saddam Hussein has shown no inclination of a desire to do that. And the President knows the importance of having it done.

QUESTION: Does he believe that regime change can be accomplished without Saddam Hussein's removal?

MR. FLEISCHER: There is no history of Saddam Hussein showing any inclination to do the things the world expects. And the President is being realistic.

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