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Iraq: No new U.N. resolutions

Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein: Fighting U.S. pressure for new UN resolutions

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CNN's Richard Roth analyzes Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri's speech to the United Nations (September 19)
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BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq says it will not cooperate with any new U.N. resolution on arms inspections, as the U.S. pushes for tough ultimatums against Baghdad.

The Iraqi announcement is a direct challenge to U.S. President George W. Bush's push for a new resolution that puts teeth into current ones, creating concise and strong consequences should Iraq renege on its agreement.

"Iraq announces that it will not cooperate with a new resolution which is different to what was agreed upon with the secretary-general (Kofi Annan)," said a statement issued following a meeting of top Iraqi leaders chaired by President Saddam Hussein.

"The American officials are trying, according to the media, to issue new, bad resolutions from the Security Council," the statement, carried by Baghdad radio, said.

The United States and Britain are trying to overcome resistance from Russia, China and France to issuing a new U.N. resolution threatening Iraq with war if it does not destroy alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

CNN correspondent Rula Amin said: "This is the first time we have heard Iraq issue calls for any kind of restrictions on new arms inspections."

She said current resolutions allow for the lifting of sanctions against Iraq if it co-operates with the United Nations Security Council.

But she added the U.S. is pushing for "a new resolution with an ultimatum and also U.N. authorisation for the possible use of force against Iraq."

Iraq, under mounting international pressure and to avoid a possible U.S. invasion, announced on Monday it would accept the unconditional return of international weapons inspectors nearly four years after they left.

The U.S., which is seeking U.N. backing for any course of action it decides to take, said the Iraqi decision to allow inspectors to return was designed to divide the Security Council.

U.S. President George W. Bush has dismissed it as a "ploy" and has not ruled out unilateral American military action.

British U.N. Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock met the 10 non-permanent members of the 15-nation Security Council late on Friday to lobby for a new directive.

The proposed resolution demands unfettered access for the arms experts and spells out the consequences if Baghdad failed to cooperate with teams searching for weapons of mass destruction, as required by past council resolutions, Reuters news agency reports.

U.N. weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq in December 1998, just before a U.S.-British bombing blitz designed to punish Baghdad for its alleged failure to cooperate with them.

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