Libya would set its oil wells afire rather than let them fall into U.S. hands, Col. Moammar Gadhafi said in a speech broadcast by Libyan television.
His remarks appeared linked to U.S. demands for the extradition of two Libyans wanted for trial in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. There have been no reports of any U.S. plans to invade Libya and seize the wells."By God, they should know that if they want to seize Libyan oil by force, I will leave not a single drop of oil for them," Gadhafi said Monday on Libyan TV.
"They will not be able to put out (the fire) like they did in Kuwait. Libya will remain without oil until the Day of Judgment, and they can have the desert."
The speech, monitored in London, appeared to be Gadhafi's latest salvo in his standoff with the United States and Britain over their demands that Libya surrender two citizens accused in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, with a loss of 270 lives.
Although the Libyan foreign minister, Ibrahim Bishari, said Sunday that Libya was willing to allow a "neutral country" to try the suspects, Gadhafi maintained he did not have the authority to extradite the men.
The U.N. Security Council has told Libya it risks trade and aviation sanctions if it fails to surrender the suspects for trial.