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British Parliament to Debate Possible Action in Iraq - 2002-09-11

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has agreed to recall parliament for a debate about possible military action in Iraq. Mr. Blair made the request under mounting political pressure.

Mr. Blair is asking the speaker of parliament to recall lawmakers during the week of September 23 for a special one-day debate on Iraq.

In a letter to Speaker Michael Martin, Mr. Blair says the meeting would follow the release of a government dossier on Iraq's weapons program.

Mr. Blair says there will be no vote after the debate. But he promised parliament would be reconvened again, when and if a decision is made to take military action against Iraq.

The prime minister has been besieged with appeals to recall parliament amid mounting anxiety in Britain about the possibility of war with Iraq.

Mr. Blair backs President Bush in taking a tough line on Iraq. But he faces significant domestic resistance to Britain joining a U.S.-led war.