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Saddam: Acceptance of UN Weapons Inspections Helped Avoid US War - 2002-11-16

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has told parliament he had to accept the U.N. Security Council's demand to disarm to avoid what he called, "a U.S. led war against his country." The statement came in a letter from the Iraqi leader.

In the letter, the president said he seriously considered the parliament's recommendation to reject the U.N. resolution. But he said he had to accept it to protect his people.

Mr. Hussein wrote to parliament that he agreed to the stringent terms of resolution 1441 because, "the alliance between Zionism and the American administration had decided to wage war unilaterally against Iraq."

The Iraqi leader warned that even though weapons inspectors are scheduled to return, Iraq could still face a U.S. led attack.

Mr. Hussein said that he hopes the return of inspectors will allow the Security Council to see that Iraq is completely free of weapons of mass destruction.

He said he hoped his acceptance would lift the sanctions imposed on Iraq by the U.N. in 1991.