- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 6, 2002

The Bush administration will submit a revised resolution to the U.N. Security Council today that makes it clear that Iraq must disarm or face the threat of U.S. military action, a senior administration official said.
Even though the proposed revision contains some changes to reflect the views of other nations, it does not restrict President Bush, said the official.
Mr. Bush has been seeking U.N. authority for the United States to threaten Iraq with force if Baghdad refuses to disclose its chemical and biological weapons to international inspectors. He had run into serious resistance in the U.N. Security Council.
Armed with authorization of Congress, Mr. Bush approached the United Nations in September against the backdrop of disagreement among his senior advisers. Some did not think the United States should ask the Security Council but should act on its own or with nations allied in disarming Iraq.
Mr. Bush, in a speech to the General Assembly, challenged the United Nations to insist on Iraqi compliance with a string resolutions over more than a decade. He said the world organization risked irrelevance if it refused the U.S. demands.
The U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the latest proposal has broad council support.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell worked out some of the final points during a telephone conversation with French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, the official said.
The Security Council will meet this morning to consider the U.S. draft. A senior White House official said the administration does not expect a vote before tomorrow, maybe as late as Friday.
The first administration official said the resolution, the product of six weeks of intense debate, takes into account the views of the United States and other council members.
"It makes clear that Iraq is in material breach [of prior resolutions]," the official said. Earlier, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher spoke of "growing support in the council for a strong resolution that makes clear to Iraq that it has failed to comply in the past, that it needs to comply with a tough inspection regime, that there'll be serious consequences if it doesn't."
Mr. Powell also conferred during the day with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and three foreign ministers, Igor Ivanov of Russia, Jorge Castaneda of Mexico and Joschka Fischer of Germany.
The text has been revised to reflect protracted discussions involving France, Russia and other Security Council members that object to threatening war against Iraq if it refuses to disarm or cooperate with weapons inspectors.
At the United Nations, a French diplomat said late yesterday that because Paris has not seen the text, "it's too early to say we have an official position. … We must send it to Paris and our government, including the president, will have a careful look at the entire text."
After voting yesterday in Crawford, Texas, President Bush ignored a reporter's question about whether he thought a compromise resolution was near.
One former opponent of the draft resolution gave a clear sign of movement.
Mexico's Mr. Castaneda, whose country is on the Security Council and has strongly supported the Russian and French positions, said late Monday he believes the revised draft will be approved by 14 of the 15 council members, with Iraq's Arab neighbor Syria abstaining.
Yesterday, however, Mr. Castaneda clarified that his prediction was based on a consensus among the major powers.
"Mexico would prefer to vote in favor of a previously agreed-upon consensus," the foreign minister said in a television interview.
He said if the major powers had reached no agreement, "Mexico probably would abstain along with other countries."
Mr. Powell, in an interview with European newspapers, said Monday: "We will know early on whether or not Iraq is intending to cooperate or not to cooperate."
Apparently skeptical that President Saddam Hussein would agree to U.N. demands, Mr. Powell said Iraq has tried "to force the U.N. to play the same game that Iraq always wins at."
Whether Iraqi defiance will lead to war remains to be seen, Mr. Powell said.
"That judgment, really, is in the hands of the U.N., the United States, like-minded nations and ultimately whether Iraq is going to come into compliance with international law or not," he said.

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