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Iraq Says Won't Accept New UN Resolution

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Iraq Says Won't Accept New U.N. Resolution

Sat Sep 21, 8:57 AM ET

By Hassan Hafidh

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq said on Saturday it would not accept any new U.N. Security Council resolution that runs contrary to an agreement reached with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

"Iraq announces that it will not cooperate with a new resolution which is different from what has been agreed upon with the (U.N.) Secretary-General," said a statement issued following a meeting of top Iraqi leaders chaired by President Saddam Hussein.

The statement carried by state-run Baghdad radio gave no details of the agreement Iraq had reached with Annan.

The United States and Britain have stepped up pressure on the Security Council to adopt a tough new Iraq resolution before any resumption of U.N. arms inspections to search for weapons of mass destruction.

British U.N. Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock met the 10 non-permanent members of the 15-nation Security Council on Friday to lobby for a new resolution demanding unfettered access for the arms experts and spelling out the consequences if Baghdad failed to cooperate with the inspection teams.

Washington has threatened Baghdad with military action if it does not allow the unconditional return of the inspectors.

The Iraqi statement said the Iraqi move was in reaction to attempts by "American officials who are trying to issue bad resolutions through the U.N. Security Council."

Iraq agreed this week to the unconditional return of the U.N. arms inspectors, who left in December 1998, just before a U.S.-British bombing blitz to punish Baghdad for its alleged failure to cooperate with them.

Russia and France, both permanent members of the U.N. Security Council with veto powers, have expressed doubt about the need for a new resolution, complicating President Bush's desire for quick action against Baghdad.

U.N. weapons inspectors and Iraq's top arms experts met briefly this week in New York to discuss logistics on offices, flights, escorts and other planning.

Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said on Thursday his first teams could be on the ground by October 15 and begin some test inspections soon afterwards.

Baghdad radio said Saturday's meeting was attended by Iraqi officials including Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan, Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz, Revolutionary Command Council member Ali Hassan al-Majeed and Foreign Minister Naji Sabri.

It said Sabri briefed the others on his participation at the U.N. General Assembly meetings.

Sabri delivered a speech by Saddam to the assembly in which he declared Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and accused the United States of fabricating excuses to attack his country.

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Saddam has shown his true colors. Now it's up to the UN to show it's worth. I personally don't think they will stand up to him. They will probably announce that they are content with just letting the inspectors back in for new rounds of "Cat & Mouse."

On another note I read that Congress may be close to OKing Bush's request for "use of force".

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As unfortunate as war would be, I for one do not wish to see any dead US soldiers or innocent Iraqi civilians, but feel that military action (or hopefully the threat of will be enough) is the only choice left. I hope that my feelings about the Un are wrong and that they are able to defuse this situation. I have seen enough blood shed in the past year to last me an eternity.

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