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Saturday, 14 September, 2002, 04:12 GMT 05:12 UK
UN says Iraq must face consequences
Colin Powell (background) and George W Bush
Bush defused hostility with a commitment to the UN
The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have agreed to put pressure on Baghdad to allow UN weapons inspectors to return to Iraq.


There's complete unanimity about the imperative of getting the weapons inspectors back into Iraq

Jack Straw
UK foreign secretary
US Secretary of State Colin Powell said after a meeting with his counterparts from Russia, China, France and the UK that although a UN resolution had not yet been written he was "reasonably sure that a resolution must have a deadline to it".

But despite a day of frantic diplomacy in which Mr Powell held consultations with all 15 council members and some Arab ministers, no member has yet backed the use of force.

To pass a resolution, the US needs a minimum of nine votes and the assurance from the other permanent members that they will not use their veto.

The US has been calling on Iraq to comply with existing UN resolutions "within weeks", and discussions will continue later on Saturday at the UN on possible action.

Serious doubts

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov read out a statement by the five, which said that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein would have to face the consequences if he refused to co-operate with the Security Council.


This resolution, or resolutions have got to be tough, they've got to be binding

US Secretary of State Colin Powell
He said the ministers had begun consultations on how to ensure implementation of the resolutions.

They will continue next week as the US ambassador to the UN, John Negroponte, meets other council members.

The meetings came after US President George W Bush made clear he seriously doubted that Saddam would meet US demands and avert a military assault on Iraq.

Mr Powell earlier warned that the UN's credibility was at stake if it continued to allow its resolutions to be ignored.

"This resolution, or resolutions - depending on what the Security Council agrees upon - have got to be tough, they've got to be binding, they've got to have deadlines to them, and there has to be action required as a result of non-compliance," Mr Powell said.

UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said there was a "very clear understanding" that a clear deadline was needed.

"There's also complete unanimity about the imperative of getting the weapons inspectors back into Iraq," added Mr Straw.

Eleven years

Mr Bush has warned that the US would take unilateral action against Baghdad if the UN failed to impose its will, arguing that Iraq was building weapons of mass destruction.


Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
Bush's demands of Iraq
  • Relinquish all weapons of mass destruction
  • Stop oppressing its people
  • Ensure UN funds are used for Iraqi people


  • And he repeated his call for a UN-imposed deadline on the Baghdad government to comply with its demands within "days and weeks - not months and years".

    The BBC's Jon Leyne says the atmosphere has changed dramatically since Mr Bush made a commitment to working with the UN, thereby defusing any hostility among Security Council members towards US action.

    Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz on Friday rejected the unconditional return of UN arms inspectors as demanded by Washington.

    Course of action:

    • US consults permanent members of the Security Council
      Enlarge image
      Enlarge image

      Key US regional bases

    • Resolution is drafted, and tabled, probably, by Britain
    • Security Council debates and eventually approves a resolution
    • Deadline is issued to Iraq for the return of weapons inspectors
    • If not complied with, then the US will launch final consultations on a military option
    • Military preparations gather pace
    The US Central Command - which oversees the war in Afghanistan - has announced plans to send 600 of its headquarters staff from Florida to Qatar, near Iraq, for a "training" exercise.

    And the British army is preparing to move large quantities of weapons, supplies and vehicles from stores around the country to a military port.

     WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    The BBC's Jon Leyne reports
    "President Bush has succeeded in transforming the atmosphere"
    The BBC's Caroline Hawley reports from Baghdad
    "Iraq is now to put its case to the world"

    Key stories

    Analysis

    CLICKABLE GUIDE

    BBC WORLD SERVICE

    AUDIO VIDEO

    TALKING POINT
    George W Bush's full address to the UN
     VOTE RESULTS
    Bush's UN speech: Has he got it right?

    Yes
     51.44% 

    No
     48.56% 

    23362 Votes Cast

    Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

    See also:

    14 Sep 02 | Politics
    13 Sep 02 | Middle East
    13 Sep 02 | Middle East
    13 Sep 02 | Media reports
    12 Sep 02 | Americas
    13 Sep 02 | Middle East
    12 Sep 02 | Politics
    13 Sep 02 | Politics
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