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Sources: Iraqi documents expected Friday

Iraq vote pushed back

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John Negroponte speaks to reporters after Security Council consultations regarding the British proposal at U.N. headquarters Wednesday.

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BLAIR'S BENCHMARKS
  • Saddam Hussein must come clean on Iraqi television about his weapons of mass destruction and say he will give them up.

  • Iraq must identify stocks of anthrax and other chemical and biological weapons.

  • Iraq must fly 30 Iraqi scientists and their families to Cyprus so they can be questioned about weapons programs free from intimidation.

  • Iraq must account for unmanned drone aircraft that the United States and Britain say could be used for spraying poisons.

  • Iraq must commit to destroying mobile biological warfare production units.

  • Iraq must complete destruction of all banned missiles.
  • SPECIAL REPORT
    •  Commanders: U.S. | Iraq
    •  Weapons: 3D Models

    UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- Iraq Friday will give the United Nations details about its claims to have destroyed 3.9 tons of VX nerve agent, diplomatic sources said.

    Iraq is still putting the final touches on the report that is to explain how it disposed of at least 2,245 gallons (8,500 liters) of anthrax.

    Sources said that report would be delivered in the next few days, but didn't specify when. It was not clear whether the report would be submitted to U.N. inspectors in Baghdad or in New York.

    Iraq said it destroyed its stockpile of chemical and biological agents after the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

    The VX report is described as "very technical" with many graphs and charts explaining how much nerve agent it had and how and where it disposed of it.

    Iraq says it produced about 8,500 liters of anthrax and about 3.9 tons of VX nerve agent. In a recently released report, weapons inspectors estimated that Iraq could have produced as much as 6,600 gallons (25,000 liters) of anthrax.

    The same report said there is a strong possibility that about 2,640 gallons (10,000 liters) of anthrax still exists.

    Under a new plan formulated this week by Britain, Iraq must either produce its anthrax stockpiles or provide documentation showing they have been destroyed, and turn over any aircraft or equipment with the capability of spraying chemicals.

    The new British proposal was the focus of a day of intense diplomatic activity at the United Nations Thursday.

    However, as Thursday drew to a close it seemed the only concrete development was the news that a vote on a U.S.-backed resolution before the U.N. Security Council on disarming Iraq would not be called this week.

    'Time is running out'

    "We are willing to go the extra mile but at the same time I would have to say time is running out," U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Negroponte told reporters after a closed-door meeting of the council Thursday.

    As diplomats left the consultative session there seemed little shift in the established positions on the issue with both the Russian, French and German ambassadors dismissing a new proposal from Britain, which would establish six benchmarks for Iraq to meet that would prove it is disarming, as inadequate.

    But British Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock was more upbeat and said he believed his country's proposal had sparked further discussion.

    He also said that some council members wanted to postpone a vote on the resolution until they had heard again from chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix who is due to appear before the council next week to lay out his timetable for his inspectors to complete their work.

    "There are people who would like to wait for Dr. Blix's work program next week, but we have made the cardinal point that there has to be a strong signal that there is a strategic change by Iraq, into full cooperation with the inspectors, before we can get into a work program that will be effective to complete disarmament," Greenstock said.

    The German ambassador to the United Nations, Gunter Pleuger, was among those urging the council to await the next briefing from Blix.

    "These are benchmarks and these are tests, and it doesn't make sense to decide now on benchmarks when in a few days from now, we will have the work program that the inspectors are supposed to submit to the council under the present resolutions of the Security Council, and on which the council itself, has to take a decision and endorse it," he said.

    Following the Security Council meeting the so-called undecided six -- Cameroon, Guinea, Mexico, Pakistan, Angola and Chile -- who could hold the swing votes on the resolution went into their second meeting of the day where they were believed to be working on a new proposal of their own.

    Their proposal could include ruling out any automatic use of force and giving Iraq "appropriate" time to comply with a disarmament work program set out by Blix, according to a diplomat from one of the countries involved.

    Powell: U.S. has option of walking away from Security Council

    While the White House said Thursday it is willing to extend its diplomatic efforts to secure U.N. support for a possible war with Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said dropping plans for a U.N. Security Council vote on a new resolution also is an option.

    U.S. officials continue to study a British proposal to set a date by which Iraq would have to meet six conditions to avoid war.

    Powell told a House of Representatives panel Thursday that the United States continued to seek a compromise in the Security Council, but he held open the possibility that it might walk away without seeking a vote.

    "We are working hard to see if we can take this to a vote that would be a vote that would help unify the council," he told the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee. "But we haven't excluded any of the obvious options that are out there."

    CNN Correspondents Suzanne Malveaux and Barbara Starr and Producers Elise Labott, Ronni Berke and Liz Neisloss contributed to this report. For latest developments, see CNN.com's Iraq Tracker.


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