BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 2 October, 2002, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
UK demands 'much tougher' Iraq deal
Straw: Current regulations are 'defective'

The UK will press for "much tougher" weapons inspections regulations for Iraq, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has told BBC News Online after rejecting Iraq's latest offer for inspectors to return.


We want a much tougher inspection regime - so does the US

Jack Straw
Mr Straw said the existing inspections regulations were "defective".

Asked in a BBC News Online webchat whether he would commit his son to war, the foreign secretary said: "My son is over 21 so it is a matter for him.

Warning

"Am I prepared to see forced used? If justifiable and consistent with international law, yes."

The UK and the US have rejected the deal reached between the UN and Iraq for weapons inspectors to restart work.

Mr Straw has already warned that the agreement was not an alternative to a new resolution that would give unfettered access to all sites in Iraq suspected of holding chemical and biological weapons.

And he told BBC News Online on Wednesday: "We want a much tougher inspection regime - so does the US."

The foreign secretary was speaking in the live webchat at the Labour conference in Blackpool on Wednesday as intensive talks over a new resolution continue.

Destroy

Mr Straw said: "The UN weapons inspectors have to work under existing security council resolutions.


Am I prepared to see forced used? If justifiable and consistent with international law, yes

Jack Straw
"The inspectors under Hans Blix are good people, but the rules are defective."

The US Secretary of State Colin Powell has also rejected the return of any weapons inspectors to Iraq unless the UN Security Council passed a tough resolution promising consequences if Iraq failed to comply fully.

The US will continue to press for a UN Security Council resolution that would specifically mention the threat of military intervention should the inspectors be unable to complete their work.

And Mr Straw has said a new resolution is needed to give Saddam a choice between "coming quietly and having the full force of the international community, military force, against him".

Lesson

Mr Straw answered a range of questions on Iraq during the event.


Sometimes we do have to use force to secure a greater peace. That's the real lesson of history

Jack Straw
He said he could not agree with a BBC News Online user who asked about pacifism.

He said: "I understand the pacifist argument. My dad was a pacifist and was jailed for his beliefs.

"But I do not agree with it. Sometimes we do have to use force to secure a greater peace. That's the real lesson of history."

'Higher law'

Asked about UN resolutions over the Middle East, he said the UK was committed to seeing such resolutions enforced.

"But there is in any event a significant difference in the resolutions against Iraq," he said.

"They are 'higher law' under chapter seven of the UN charter which authorises the use of force.

"The Israel-Palestinian resolutions are different. They impose obligations on all sides and we are working on them."

Mr Straw said he believed many countries "wholeheartedly support" the United States "which has long been a profound force for good in the world".

Threat

"They saved us in two world wars and without the US the peoples of Afghanistan and Kosovo would still be under tyranny."

He accepted that there were a "range of opinions" in the international world over how to deal with Iraq, but said there was "overwhelming support for a tough stand over Iraq".

Another user asked Mr Straw about the potential threat to UK personnel from biological and chemical weapons should troops go in to Iraq.

He said: "It goes without saying that any forces that were used in the Iraqi theatre would be fully prepared for all eventualities.

"Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, takes his responsibilities for British troops very seriously."

'Dangerous'

The weapons inspection deal between the UN and Iraq, was reached after two days of talks in Vienna, Austria.


If there was to be action without UN support we will begin to see the break up of the authority of the UN

Clare Short
Prime Minister Tony Blair told the Labour conference on Tuesday that the UN's authority would be threatened if it failed to deal with Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

International Development Secretary Clare Short has warned that any unilateral action would be a "very dangerous situation for the world".

She has refused to rule out resigning from the cabinet if the UN is over-ruled.

"If there was to be action without UN support we will begin to see the break up of the authority of the UN which would be very dangerous," she told BBC News 24's Hardtalk programme

Ms Short argued the world would become even more "bitterly divided" if military action was launched without the sanction of the UN.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
"We have to have upgraded weapons inspection arrangements"

Key stories

Analysis

CLICKABLE GUIDE

BBC WORLD SERVICE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
See also:

02 Oct 02 | Americas
01 Oct 02 | Middle East
01 Oct 02 | Politics
30 Sep 02 | Politics
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes