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Powell: No More Iraqi 'Swamp'; U.N. Needs To Issue New, Tougher Inspection Rules to Disarm Saddam

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2002 – U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell dismissed Iraq's offer to allow U.N. weapons inspector back in saying the United States "will not be satisfied with Iraqi half-truths or Iraqi compromises or Iraqi efforts to get us back into the same swamp that they took the United Nations into back in 1998."

Any new inspections, Powell said, must be backed with U.N. resolve that all sites are subject to search, with clearly stated consequences if Iraq doesn't comply.

The United States would continue to pursue a new U.N. resolution with the Security Council, Powell said during a State Department briefing, Oct. 1. "We believe strongly that we have to keep moving in this direction because, as we have seen in the last several weeks, pressure works, and we have to keep the pressure up."

U.N. envoy Hans Blix announced Tuesday that Iraq had agreed to allow in U.N. arms inspectors back into the country for the first time since 1998. Blix said inspectors could be back in Baghdad within two weeks.

The United Nations is now working to craft a tougher resolution or resolutions to force Saddam to disarm and give up his weapons of mass destruction; if approved, it's expected that they would become active upon any new inspections in Iraq.

According to Powell, a new, tougher U.N. resolution will provide Blix and weapons inspection teams "rigid procedures, the highest standards for Iraq to meet in order to satisfy the international community that they do not have, or are not developing weapons of mass destruction, and that which they do have, can be destroyed."

The United States will work with the Security Council to put in place a new resolution " that also has to have associated with it consequences for failure on the part of the Iraqis to act and to respond to the requirements of the international community," Powell said.

Such a new resolution is needed "so that we can have consequences associated with failure to perform on the part of the Iraqi government," he pointed out.

Powell said Blix is doing a fine job, adding, "We look forward to receiving a briefing from Dr. Blix, as a member of the Security Council, when he briefs the Security Council later this week."

Blix and his team, Powell added, need "additional guidance and instructions from the Security Council in the form of new resolution language.

"And so, we will continue to work with our Security Council colleagues to come up with such language in the form of a resolution," the secretary concluded.

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