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Iraq Rejects Draft UN Resolution on Disarmament - 2002-09-28


Iraq has rejected a draft United Nations Security Council resolution requiring Baghdad to agree to disarm or face military action.

Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan told reporters in Baghdad Saturday that the requirements contained in the draft resolution are not acceptable.

Mr. Ramadan said Iraq's stance on the inspectors has already been decided. Baghdad said earlier this month it would allow U.N. weapons inspectors to return to Iraq without conditions.

According to U.N. diplomats, the United States and Britain propose giving Iraq seven days to agree to the disarmament plan and allow unconditional weapons inspections, or face military action. The draft Security Council resolution would also give Iraq 30 days to disclose its chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

In his weekly radio address, President Bush said he is nearing agreement with members of the U.S. Congress authorizing the use of military force against Iraq if it does not agree to disarm. Mr. Bush said soon the nation will speak with one voice.

Despite the President's statement, some Democrats are questioning the need for military force at this time instead of a diplomatic solution.

In his address, Mr. Bush repeated his charge that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons and is seeking a nuclear bomb. He said Iraq has long-standing and continuing ties to terrorist groups, and there are al-Qaida terrorists inside Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Tariq Aziz warned Saturday that the United States would suffer major losses if it launches military action against Baghdad. He said U.S. forces would sustain their worst losses in decades.

An influential Baghdad newspaper, meanwhile, denied U.S. accusations that Iraq had links to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network.

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