- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 16, 2003

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 (UPI) — For the next two to three weeks, the United States and Great Britain will be pursuing a new U.N. resolution spelling out consequences for an Iraq that doesn't reveal its weapons of mass destruction while developing proof Iraq will not do so, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Administration officials told the Times a new resolution could be put before the United Nations as soon as Tuesday that would authorize "serious consequences" — code words for war — for an uncooperative Iraq.

U.N. inspectors are also preparing "benchmarck" tests for Iraq as soon as later this week.

Officials said President Bush is talking over the terms of a resolution with Secretary of State Colin Powell and will also consult anew with allies on the language.

Tasks to be given Iraq include allowing weapons inspectors to interview more Iraqi scientists without government "minders" present, the destruction of missiles found to have greater range than the United Nations allows and explicit permission for aircraft reconnaissance by American, European and Russian aircraft.

"We are looking for some early benchmarks, specific things that the Iraqis will have to do to show full compliance," an administration official told the Times, and that chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix agreed to such benchmarks when he met with Powell on Friday after a contentious Security Council session.

Blix's concluding statement Friday was that "the period of disarmament through inspection could still be short, if immediate, active and unconditional cooperation" were "forthcoming."

U.S. officials seized on the wording as proof that Iraq has fallen far short of the "immediate, active and unconditional cooperation" that was specified in Resolution 1441.

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