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Iraq Parliament Rejects UN Weapons Inspection - 2002-11-12


While the Iraqi parliament has unanimously rejected the United Nations Security Council resolution calling for Iraq to disarm, political analysts in the region say they believe President Saddam Hussein will decide to accept the resolution.

The Iraqi parliament voted 250-0 to reject the resolution, calling it a violation of international law that provided the United States with a pretext to launch a war against Iraq.

Before the vote, Saddam Hussein's eldest son, Uday, sent a letter to parliament urging its members to accept the resolution without restrictions, but with some limits and procedures. It was not clear what those requirements would be or whether they would be acceptable to the Security Council.

Political analyst Fahmy Howeidi, who is a columnist for several Egyptian newspapers, says Saddam Hussein's son would not have sent the message to parliament unless he knew his father also intended to do something along the same lines.

"If the son sent the message that this is the father's will," said Mr. Howeidi. "It is understood that this is the message from Saddam Hussein."

The vote in parliament is non-binding. Instead, it is a recommendation that will be sent to President Saddam's Revolutionary Command Council for its consideration.

Few dispute that Saddam Hussein will make the final decision, according to political analyst Sami Baroudi. The head of the political science department at Lebanon-American University in Beirut says the rejection of the resolution by the Iraqi parliament is "just part of a show" being put on by Saddam Hussein to reflect the anger of the Iraqi people.

"It is sort of like a little charade but eventually he will accept it," explained Mr. Baroudi. "I mean it is probably something that is staged to show that the Iraqi people are not happy with this resolution but then the leadership is also not happy but at the same time wants to spare the country war. ... It is not like there is really debate within the regime on whether to accept or not. The decision will be taken by one person," he said, referring to President Saddam Hussein.

Sources in the Arab League have told VOA that the Iraqi leader has given League officials assurances he will accept the resolution that calls for the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq and the destruction of the country's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

American and British officials have said Iraq will face attack if it rejects the resolution, or violates its terms.

Iraq has until Friday to make its final decision.

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