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Saddam Accuses US, Britain of 'Evil Scheme' - 2002-11-07

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is urging the world to stop the United States and Britain from carrying out, what he calls, an "evil scheme," referring to a draft resolution the U.N. Security Council is considering. But Arab sources say Iraq is likely to accept the resolution if it is passed.

President Saddam says Washington and London are exerting pressure on the Security Council to adopt a resolution, that he says, contradicts international law and the United Nations charter.

According to Iraqi television, Saddam Hussein suggested if the United States and Britain are able to achieve their goals the world would be subjected to the rule of power and opportunity rather than justice.

Iraq's state-owned newspaper Al-Thawra says the draft resolution is a pretext for war against the whole Arab nation, and called for France and Russia to block the resolution in the Security Council.

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

Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri told Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa that Iraq is ready to accept the weapons inspectors, but he said there is no need for a new U.N. resolution.

Sources in the Arab League say Saddam Hussein has indicated he will likely accept the resolution if it is adopted, even though it gives inspectors access to his personal palaces and threatens serious consequences if he interferes.

The sources say during recent conversations the Iraqi leader suggested he has reservations about the revised draft, but 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 does not have any other option," he said.

Former Egyptian army General Mohammed Kadry Sa'id 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," the general said. "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. So, I think he has nothing to do but to accept the resolution."

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