British Prime Minister Tony Blair issues a list of conditions for Iraqi disarmament, in hopes of breaking an impasse in the United Nations Security Council, while the search for banned weapons in Iraq continues.
Amy Katz has our report.
Britain is proposing a six-point plan of conditions it wants Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to meet to avoid a war. Prime Minister Tony Blair explained the conditions to parliament Wednesday where he faced tough questions about his hard-line stance on Iraq.
The proposal requires Saddam Hussein to declare on television that he is renouncing all weapons of mass destruction. He would also be required to destroy 10,000 liters of anthrax Baghdad is believed to be holding and he would have to let Iraqi scientists leave the country for interviews with UNweapons inspectors. Mr. Blair told parliament he wants the Security Council to approve the conditions as part of a new disarmament resolution. TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER
“Now, I believe that if we set these conditions out clearly, if we back them by the will of a united United Nations, then we have a chance, even now, of averting conflict but what we must show is the determination to act if Saddam will not fully comply.”
Mr. Blair makes the move as he faces increasing criticism in Britain, for his position, in support of disarming Iraq by force, if necessary. Many lawmakers are urging the Prime Minister not to send British troops to war in Iraq without UN authorization.
U.S. President George W. Bush continues to urge members of the Security Council to vote for a new resolution, which could pave the way for war. But, Russia, France and China, permanent council members with veto power, continue to oppose it. President Bush has said he is prepared to use force regardless of what the UN decides.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, UN weapons inspectors are still searching for weapons of mass destruction.
And Iraq is destroying more of its banned Al-Samoud-two missiles. Nearly half the arsenal has been scrapped so far.
Iraqi officials also displayed a pilot-less plane known as a drone Wednesday which UN inspectors are investigating. Iraqi officials dispute the claim that the plane could be used to deliver chemical and biological weapons.