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Iraqi Media Calls for Rejection of New Draft UN Resolution

In Iraq, newspapers are calling for the U.N. Security Council to reject the latest U.S. draft resolution regarding the return of weapons inspectors. But, sources in the Arab League believe Iraq will eventually accept the resolution.

Iraq's state-owned newspaper, Al-Thawra, warned Thursday that the revised U.S. draft resolution is a pretext for war against "the whole Arab nation," and called on France and Russia to block the resolution in the Security Council.

The Iraqi newspaper said the Security Council should not give the United States what it called "a pretext and a cover for aggression."

Another Iraqi newspaper, the Babil, says the resolution is designed to make Iraq fail, in order to justify a U.S.-led attack.

Still, on Thursday Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri phoned Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and said, among other things, Iraq is ready to provide the necessary facilities to make the mission of the weapons inspectors successful. But he said there is no need for a new U.N. resolution.

In the meantime, sources in the Arab League say Iraqi President Saddam Hussein will likely accept the revised U.S. draft resolution, which calls for virtually no restrictions on the weapons inspectors and warns of serious consequences if Iraq fails to fully cooperate.

The sources say, during recent conversations, the Iraqi leader suggested that while he has reservations about the revised draft, he will more likely than not accept the resolution's conditions.

According to Hassan Nafae, who heads the political science department at Cairo University, the Iraqi leader has no other choice.

"I think, he will accept the resolution and permit the inspectors to come back to Baghdad, because he doesn't have any other options," he said.

Former Egyptian army General Mohammed Kadry Said agrees. The military expert at the al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo says the U.N. resolution is Saddam Hussein's final chance to avoid war.

"I think this is the only choice for him. It is the only choice because, I think, all the international community, the Arab world, all built their position on the assumption that this is the only chance for Saddam Hussein," the general said. " So, I think he has nothing to do but to accept the resolution."

On Monday, the Iraqi leader said he wanted to look at the conditions of the resolution before making a final decision about whether to accept it.