In an unbelievable act of sheer and unadulterated arrogance, meddling and bullying demonstrating an utter disrespect not only for the UNO but for the international community as a whole, the Bush administration has made it clear that unless the UN Security Council makes a stronger resolution stipulating how the Iraqi regime should behave during the inspections, these will not go ahead and therefore the USA will have a free hand to launch a unilateral strike.
Powell made his speech to a Congress Committee, in which he declared that if Iraq does not comply with the weapons inspectors, it will suffer the consequences. One question is if Iraq complies with the UN resolution to send inspectors and the rules laid out under this agreement. Another is the USA carefully wording a new resolution, demanding conditions which it will be impossible for Baghdad to accept. This is what is being done behind the scenes.
Meanwhile, Hans Blix, the head of the UN inspection team, has declared that the inspections will begin in Iraq on 15th October and that the operation is expected to take until February 15th, 2003.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri read out a message from His Excellency President Saddam Hussein to the UN General Assembly, in which he accused the US President of lying, fabricating evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, which is not true, according to Baghdad. The position of Russia and other leading nations in the international community is to let the weapons inspection team carry out their duty and decide for themselves whether or not it is Baghdad or Washington that is telling the truth.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
Europe has recognised the need for negotiations with Russia to discuss the security system on the continent. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is going to Macedonia for meetings with colleagues within the OSCE