President Bush says that if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein does not fully comply with a U.N. resolution ordering Baghdad to give up its weapons of mass destruction, the United States and other nations will do it for him.
Speaking at the White House shortly after the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed the resolution, Mr. Bush said the decision shows the U.N. has met its responsibilities. He called on Baghdad to do the same, or face the severest consequences.
The 15 - 0 U.N. vote came a short time ago at U.N. headquarters in New York.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says the goal is to ensure the disarmament of Iraq in compliance with U.N. resolutions.
The new resolution, the subject of weeks of negotiations, allows U.N. weapons inspectors the right to search anywhere for banned weapons, including the palace compounds of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
It calls for serious consequences if Baghdad is found to not comply with U.N. demands for its disarmament. But the text does not specifically mention military action the United States has threatened against Iraq if it does not give up its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.
Speaking to the Council Friday, U.S. ambassador John Negroponte said that one way or another, Iraq will be disarmed. He says if the Security Council does not act decisively against Iraqi violations of the resolution, the resolution does not constrain any member state from defending itself against the threat of Iraqi weapons.
The new resolution incorporates a series of strict timelines. Iraq would have seven days to accept the Council's decision and 30 days to make a full accounting of its weapons program. Weapons inspectors, who have been kept out of Iraq for nearly four years, would return within 45 days. They would have two months to compile a report to the Security Council.