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Thursday, 7 November, 2002, 17:40 GMT
Saddam urges world to stop US
Iraqis walk past a billboard of Saddam Hussein
Iraqis are being told the US wants a war
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has urged the world to take a "just" position against America and Britain and stop them achieving their "evil" schemes against Iraq.

He was speaking on Thursday as the UN Security Council debated a revised US draft resolution - backed by the UK - setting tough terms for the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq.


Any just position by the world against the evil wishes of these countries will not be in the interest of Iraq alone but in the interest of the world

Saddam Hussein
Iraqi television quoted the president as saying that Washington and London were "exerting pressure on the Security Council to take resolutions that contradict international law and the United Nations charter".

The BBC's David Bamford, at the UN in New York, say the US wants a vote on its draft resolution on Friday and is confident it will succeed.

Diplomatic sources have told the BBC that chief weapons inspector Hans Blix is planning to return to Baghdad within two weeks.

The Iraqi president's remarks were made to visiting Malaysian Information Minister Khalil Yaacob.

"Any just position by the world against the evil wishes of these countries will not be in the interest of Iraq alone but also in the interest of the countries of the world," he said.

UN weapons inspectors destroying sarin gas rockets in Iraq
Iraq says a new resolution is unnecessary
"If these two American and British administrations are able to achieve their wishes, the world would see a new law, which is the law of evil based on power and opportunity rather than law, love and justice."

Iraq has agreed to new weapons inspections, but says the resolution amounts to a declaration of war because it sets "impossible conditions" on disarming Iraq.

Baghdad says the real motive of US President George W Bush is to overthrow Saddam Hussein and control Iraq's vast oil reserves.

Fewer sticking points

The adoption of the resolution - which needs nine votes and no vetoes - has appeared more likely after conciliatory statements from France, Russia and China.

Searching Iraq
Deadlines for Iraq and the weapons inspectors under the resolution:
7 days: Iraq must confirm whether it will "comply fully" with the resolution
30 days: Iraq must reveal all programmes, plants and materials which could be used for weapons production
45 days: Inspectors must be allowed to resume their checks
105 days: Inspectors have 60 days from their arrival to report back to the Security Council but may report violations earlier

The three countries, together with the US and the UK, have the power to veto any resolution.

French President Jacques Chirac was quoted by his spokeswoman as saying: "A few ambiguities remain, a final adjustment would be useful."

France wants a second resolution to be required before the use of force can be authorised should Iraq obstruct weapons inspectors.

The latest draft warns Iraq that it would face "serious consequences" if inspectors are unable to do their work.

But such a complaint from the inspectors would trigger a recall of the Security Council to consider options, and not necessarily the start of armed intervention.

China's Foreign Ministry also appeared to be conciliatory.

Its spokesman Kong Quan said: "On the whole, we believe the new US proposals have taken into account and considered the worries and concerns of some of us."

But earlier Russia's UN Ambassador, Sergei Lavrov, warned: "We are not there yet."

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw presented the draft to parliament and said he expected a vote as early as Friday, though a spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair said it could take longer to reach agreement.


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07 Nov 02 | Americas
04 Nov 02 | Middle East
01 Nov 02 | Americas
03 Nov 02 | In Depth
07 Nov 02 | Media reports
07 Nov 02 | Americas
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