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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Iraq Parliament Rejects U.N. Resolution

Aired November 12, 2002 - 06:31   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN ANCHOR: Back to the breaking news that we have this morning out of Baghdad. Iraq's parliament has voted to recommend rejection of the U.N. resolution that calls for a resumption of arms inspections.
And Rym Brahimi is joining us now live from Baghdad to tell us more about that decision -- Rym.

RYM BRAHIMI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Catherine, indeed, a massive no from the Iraq National Assembly here.

Now, among the 250 members of the Iraqi parliament, only 11 didn't show up, and so they didn't vote. But for the rest of them that were there, it was a unanimous decision to reject this resolution.

Now, this comes also, though -- though they're saying that they're rejecting it, they're also calling on their leadership to make the ultimate decision on this issue of weapons inspectors.

Now, the reason they cited this came -- this massive no came after debate that raged on for hours yesterday evening and this morning, when member of parliament after member of parliament saying that this was a resolution that was unacceptable, it was impossible to implement, and therefore, there was no way that they, as citizens, could actually agree to it.

They're going to recommend, therefore, to the highest authority of the country, the Revolution Command Council, to say no. But at the same time, they are telling their leadership that it's up the leadership to decide what's best. And the leadership in the past few days has indicated that it is prepared to accept that resolution -- Catherine.

CALLAWAY: Yes, Rym, I was going to ask you about that. It seems Saddam Hussein has until Friday. Is it expected that he will approve it? We did hear from his son earlier. He was recommending to the parliament that they approve it.

BRAHIMI: Yes, indeed, Catherine. The president's son is also a member of parliament. He did not attend yesterday evening's or this morning's session. But he delivered a paper in which he called on the other National Assembly members to accept the resolution, because he said although it was an unfair resolution, that it wasn't a good resolution in a way for Iraq, he thought it was still better in the long run to accept. He also said that Iraq should accept it with the protection of the other Arab states. He called for Arab experts, for instance, to accompany the weapons inspectors when they'll be coming into Iraq.

So, a lot of it is probably more symbolic than anything else in what happened at the National Assembly, but it is a way of saying that even if Iraq ends up accepting the resolution, then it will do so under protest -- Catherine.

CALLAWAY: All right, thank, Rym -- that's Rym Brahimi joining us from Baghdad this morning.

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