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[casi] Iraq Gov't Media Denounce U.S. Draft


Iraq Gov't Media Denounce U.S. Draft
Iraqi Government Media Denounce Latest U.S. Draft Resolution As a Pretext for

The Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq Nov. 7  Iraq's government-controlled media on Thursday
denounced the latest U.S. draft resolution on weapons inspections as a pretext for
war against Baghdad and urged the U.N. Security Council not to bow to American

"America wants to use this resolution as a pretext and a cover for its
aggression on Iraq and the whole Arab nation," the ruling Baath Party newspaper
Al-Thawra said in a commentary. "The Security Council should not give (the
Americans) a pretext and a cover for the coming aggression."

Despite the criticism, Iraq's ambassador to the Arab League in Cairo
reiterated the government's view that Iraq would not reject outright a new U.N.
resolution, but would study and consider what comes out of the Security Council.

"We are ready to deal with any new Security Council resolution which will be
issued in accordance with international law and previous Security Council
resolutions, providing it respects Iraq's sovereignty and independence," Mohsen
Khalil said Thursday after a meeting with Arab League Secretary-General Amr

President Saddam Hussein, meanwhile, accused the United States and Britain of
pressuring the Security Council to vote on resolutions that contradict
international law and world opinion, the state-run Iraqi News Agency reported.

During a reception for the visiting Malaysian information minister, Saddam
said, "There are two administrations that violate the international law ... the
American administration ... and the British administration."

The United States is pressing for a vote this week on its revised draft, which
was submitted Wednesday following eight weeks of intense lobbying by the American

It strengthens the authority of U.N. weapons inspectors and demands that Iraq
provide "immediate, unimpeded, unconditional, and unrestricted access to any and
all" areas, presumably to include presidential palaces that Iraq has sought to
keep off-limits in the past.

While the revised draft includes a greater role for the Security Council, it
still frees the United States to take military action against Iraq if inspectors
say it isn't complying.

"The new aggressive U.S. draft resolution is full of dictation and demands
accompanied by war threats that should be fulfilled by Iraq while ignoring a
decade of Iraqi cooperation with the international body," said the newspaper
Babil, owned by Saddam elder son Odai.

In a front-page editorial, Babil expressed hope that Russia and France would
prevent American moves that "would turn the international body into a tool to
implement U.S.-British schemes."

Echoing that view, Al-Thawra said the Council "should shoulder its
responsibilities to prevent the U.S. planned aggression on Iraq."

On Monday, Saddam indicated he would not reject outright a new U.N.
resolution, saying Iraq wanted to look at the conditions first. However, he said
Iraq would not accept any resolution that go against "the interests, security and
independence of Iraq."

"The most important thing is that we don't let America get the international
cover for its aggression," Saddam said.

On the streets of the Iraqi capital, people appeared resigned to the
possibility of war. Some pinned their hopes of veto-wielding council members,
Russia, China and France to block any resolution that opens the door to a U.S.

"We can do nothing but to hope that France, China and Russia would oppose the
U.S. draft resolution on Iraq," said Subhi Mahmoud, a grocery store owner.

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