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[casi] UN Approves New Resolution Ordering Iraq to Disarm

Dear list,

What is the next step now?

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council on Friday unanimously
approved a tough U.S.-sponsored resolution giving Iraq one last chance to
disarm or face the consequences and ordering President Saddam Hussein (news
- web sites) to accept its terms within a week.

Even Syria, which had signaled it would not vote in favor, joined the other
council members for the 15-0 vote.

"I urge the Iraqi leadership for the sake of its own people and for the sake
of world security and world order to seize this opportunity and thereby
begin to end the isolation and suffering of the Iraqi people," U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan (news - web sites) told the council.

The vote came after two months of arduous negotiations around the world
among nations, especially France and Russia, who feared the resolution could
automatically trigger war.

The new measure still leaves Washington free to attack Iraq without a formal
second U.N. resolution authorizing the use of force. But it requires the
Security Council to assess any serious violation that could lead to war.

The resolution, co-sponsored by Britain, gives U.N. arms inspectors, who
have been out of Iraq for four years, "immediate, unimpeded and
unconditional" rights to search anywhere for weapons of mass destruction,
including Saddam's presidential compounds.

It directs Iraq to accept the terms of the resolution in seven days, and
within 30 days make an "accurate full and complete" declaration of its
nuclear, chemical, biological and ballistic weapons as well as related
materials used in civilian industries.

The resolution threatens Iraq with "serious consequences" if it does not
take advantage of "a final opportunity" to cooperate.

President Bush (news - web sites) expressed pleasure over the outcome of his
challenge to the United Nations (news - web sites) General Assembly on Sept.
12 when he told the world body to get tough with Iraq or the United States
would act alone.

"When this resolution passes, I will be able to say that the United Nations
has recognized the threat and now we're going to work together and disarm
him," Bush said on Thursday.


Support from France and Russia was nearly jeopardized earlier this week when
the United States introduced its third and final draft. It added a phrase
that France, Russia and others believed gave Washington a "hidden trigger"
for war under the guise of U.N. Security Council approval.

But a breakthrough came on Thursday, following a telephone conversation
between Bush and French President Jacques Chirac that adjusted language in
the text.

The most explosive provision is paragraph 4, which decides that "false
statements or omissions" and other non-cooperation by Iraq constitute a
"further material breach" of Baghdad's obligations -- wording that would
allow a military attack.

France won agreement that U.N. arms inspectors have to report any serious
violations to the Security Council, which would have to convene and evaluate
the complaint before any military action could begin. But the new resolution
does not demand the council authorize the use of force.

U.S. and British diplomats emphasized repeatedly that the resolution was not
a blueprint for war but a way to avoid it.

Yet, with American troops being sent to the Gulf, few doubt there will be a
war, despite opposition to a military strike in most countries in the world.

Iraq, however, had no doubts about the intent of the resolution. "The main
issue is how the Americans would use that resolution for their own
purposes," Iraqi U.N. ambassador, Mohammed Aldouri, told Reuters. "We find
the whole resolution constitutes a trigger to wage war against my country."

The U.N. arms inspectors have up to 45 days to begin work and another 60
days to report to the council on what they have uncovered. But they are
obligated to report any obstructions by Iraq immediately.

Hans Blix, the chief U.N. weapons inspector, expects to have an advance team
in Baghdad to prepare for inspections within 10 days. About a dozen
inspectors are to arrive a week later. He said a strong resolution that
would have the support of all council members "strengthens our hand."

A large part of the negotiations on the resolution were conducted by
Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) in telephone talks with
the foreign ministers of Britain, France, Russia and China.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, by his own count, spoke to Powell
about 25 times in the past 12 days.

- - - -
Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed

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