Skip to main content
CNN EditionWorld
The Web     
Powered by
powered by Yahoo!
Iraq Banner

Annan targets U.S. stance

The U.N. Security Council could vote on an Iraqi deadline this week.
The U.N. Security Council could vote on an Iraqi deadline this week.

Story Tools

more video VIDEO
A new U.S. report says Iraq is placing explosives at its northern oil fields
premium content
•  Commanders: U.S. | Iraq
•  Weapons: 3D Models

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (CNN) -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said an attack on Iraq would be a violation of the U.N. Charter if it does not have the support of the Security Council.

In his strongest statement yet regarding any possible U.S.-led military strike on Iraq, Annan was openly critical of any potential strike without U.N. approval.

Asked at a news conference in The Hague whether an attack would violate the charter, which sets out the rights and obligations of U.N. member states, Annan said, "If the U.S. and others were to go outside the council and take military action, it would not be in conformity with the charter."

The charter only allows the use of force for self-defense and actions taken "to maintain or restore international peace and security" through the Security Council.

However, both U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have said they believe a resolution passed unanimously by the Security Council last November gives them the authority to proceed with military action if Iraq does not comply with international demands to disarm.

In addition, Bush has said he believes weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein represent a direct threat to the United States -- and that he would defend the American people from that threat, with or without U.N. sanction.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, U.N. sanction for use of military force has also been the exception, not the rule, since the founding of the United Nations after World War II.

In only three out of 26 shooting wars involving U.N. member nations has use of force been authorized by the United Nations -- the Korean War, the 1991 Gulf War and the 2001 conflict in Afghanistan, according to the council.

In all three instances, the United States sought U.N. backing for military action that it led.

--CNN U.N. Producer Liz Neisloss contributed to this report.

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Iran poll to go to run-off
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.