U.S. introduces stiff new resolution

Posted 8:00 p.m. Feb. 25

by Carolyn Polinsky
U-WIRE Washington Bureau

The United States, Britain and Spain submitted a joint resolution to the United Nations Security Council Monday, declaring that Iraq is not disarming as required by the governing body’s vote last fall. The new resolution says that Iraq is in violation of Resolution 1441, which reminded Iraq that it would face serious consequences if it continued to fail to meet its obligations to disband its weapons program.

“Saddam Hussein’s refusal to comply with the demands of the civilized
world is a threat to peace, and it’s a threat to stability,” President Bush said in a speech to the National Governors Association. “We’re going to work with the members of the Security Council in the days aheadto make it clear to Saddam that the demands of the world and the United Nations will be enforced.”

The resolution points out the United Nations’ commitment to protecting Kuwait and other states neighboring Iraq, maintaining international peace, and it emphasizes the risks posed by the country’s weapons of mass destruction and missile systems. It states that Iraq has failed to live up to a decade’s worth of demands, beginning with not complying with conditions of a 1991 cease-fire, and then ignoring the final opportunity to do so in 2002.

France, Germany and Russia opposed the resolution, and released a statement saying that they wish to pursue peaceful disarmament of Iraq
over the next five months. Those three countries, along with China, want
war with Iraq to come as only a last resort.

The Bush administration has said it does not need the U.N.’s approval to
go to war, but the United States is anticipating a vote on the matter by
mid-March and is lobbying for support. For such a measure to be passed,
nine of the 15 members of the Security Council must agree to it, including France, Russia and China. In addition to the U.S., Britain and
Spain, only Bulgaria is likely to support war at this moment.

“It’s an interesting moment for the Security Council and the United
Nations. It’s a moment to determine for this body, that we hope
succeeds, to determine whether or not it is going to be relevant, as the
world confronts the threats to the 21st century,” Bush said.

Russian Envoy Yevgeny Primakov said that over the weekend Saddam Hussein told him that the country would begin complying with U.N. weapons inspectors. Iraq wishes to alter its Al Samoud 2 missile system in order to keep it and said it did not meet distance requirements because it was tested without guidance systems.

Ramsey Clark, a former U.S. attorney general who also met with Hussein, said that the Iraqi leader thinks that an attack by the United States and Britain is unavoidable no matter what.

But Monday, President Bush made clear that Hussein’s time is running
out.

“Today we’re going to submit a resolution to the U.N. Security Council
that spells out what the world has witnessed the last months. The Iraqi
regime is not disarming as required by last fall’s unanimous vote of the
Security Council,” he said. “It’s a threat to the security of our
country. It’s a threat to the security of peace-loving people
everywhere.”

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