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[casi] Iraq Accepts New UN Resolution on Arms Inspections

By Irwin Arieff

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Iraq said on Wednesday it accepted a new U.N.
Security Council resolution, which orders Baghdad to disarm, cooperate with
U.N. weapons inspectors or face "serious consequences."

"I delivered a letter to the secretary-general's office," Iraq's U.N.
ambassador Mohammed Aldouri told reporters. "It was a positive reply."

Aldouri described the six-page letter as setting out Baghdad's entire
position on the resolution, adopted by a 15-0 vote last Friday. But he said
the response was "unconditional, no questions asked."

"We are waiting for the inspectors to go as scheduled," Aldouri said. "We
are eager to see the inspectors perform their duties in accordance with
international law."

Aldouri said Baghdad has accepted the resolution in an effort to avoid war.

"This is a part of our policy that is to protect our country, to protect the
nation, to protect our region also from the threat of war which is real," he

The letter was signed by Foreign Minister Naji Sabri.

The Security Council had given Iraq a one-week deadline to Nov. 15, to
accept the resolution and promise to abide by its terms. Aldouri said his
country agreed to the measure in order to avoid a U.S.-led attack.

Iraq's acceptance came as a surprise as most council members expected
Baghdad to wait until Friday. The letter arrived a day after the Iraqi
parliament voted unanimously to reject the resolution and its terms.

Aldouri said again his country had no weapons of mass destruction and would
make that clear. Iraq next month has to give a declaration of any weapons
programs or components of dangerous weapons it still may have under terms of
the resolution.

An advance party of U.N. technicians is expected to go to Baghdad on Monday
to prepare for inspections, not expected for another week or two.

China's deputy U.N. ambassador, Yishan Zhang, who holds this month's
Security Council presidency, said the 15-member body welcomed "the correct
decision of the Iraqi government."

"We want to see the resolution implemented fully and very effectively," he

A U.S. official, however, said, "We shouldn't make more of this than there
is. This is their responsibility under the council mandate."

~ Anai Rhoads

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

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