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U.N. resolution condemns Iraqi defiance

Nov. 14, 1997

The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS -- The United States was all but on its own today in its willingness to threaten force against Iraq, despite winning a unanimous Security Council resolution condemning Iraqi defiance.

Major countries -- Russia, France, China and Egypt -- signaled Wednesday that they were opposed to resorting to military action to force President Saddam Hussein to back down in a standoff over U.S. arms inspectors in Iraq. The confrontation escalated today when Iraq ordered the Americans out.

With neither the United States nor Iraq showing signs of blinking, Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov warned that the crisis was 'headed for deadlock' and was 'very dangerous.'

All 15 Security Council members voted for Wednesday's U.S.-British resolution, which condemned Iraq for failing to cooperate with U.N. inspectors, demanded an immediate and unconditional reversal of Iraq's original Oct. 29 order expelling six American inspectors and slapped a foreign travel ban on Iraqi officials who interfere with the inspections.

The price of unity was a resolution that contained no threat of military force, referring only to a 'firm intention' to take unspecified 'further measures' if Iraq refused to comply.

Iraqi Deputy Minister Tariq Aziz, in New York to make Iraq's

case to the United Nations, declared his government ``refuses this

resolution'' and said Iraq would make good on its demand that the

American members of the U.N. inspection teams leave Iraq.

Today, uncowed by the resolution, Iraq turned back U.N.

inspection teams for the 10th time in 11 days, refusing to let

Americans on the teams through to visit suspected weapons sites.

Hours later, it ordered all American weapons inspectors to leave

the country immediately.

A U.N. official in Baghdad, reached by telephone from New York,

said the inspection team had received no word from Iraqi

authorities about the order to leave. Alan Dacey said there was no

sign of Iraq moving to enforce the order and no firm deadline for

the Americans to get out.

The Iraqi News Agency, which announced the expulsions, did not

say whether Iraq will force the Americans out.

U.S. Ambassador Bill Richardson responded with a warning of

unspecified ``grave consequences,'' telling ABC's ``Good Morning

America,'' that ``this is an Iraqi attack on the world, on the

international community.''

As Aziz was quick to note Wednesday the Security Council split

over the use of military force.

``1997 is not 1991,'' Aziz told ABC's Nightline, referring to

the days of the Gulf War coalition.

``I believe that the Arab world will not swallow this aggression

as it did in 1991,'' he said, adding: ``A number of major countries

and members of the Security Council are against that, so it will be

a grave mistake if they do it.''

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf dismissed the

unanimous Security Council vote as ``a very temporary submission''

by council members to ``American blackmailing.''

Few options outside military force are available. Virtually all

trade with Iraq has been banned since 1990 under sanctions imposed

after Saddam invaded Kuwait, touching off the Persian Gulf War.

Last December, the United Nations gave the go-ahead for Iraq to

sell up to $2 billion worth of oil every six months to buy food and

medicine.

South Korean Ambassador Park Soo Gil told reporters there was a

``consensus'' on the council against curbs in oil-for-food.

Under the 1991 cease-fire agreement that ended the Persian Gulf

War, Iraq must destroy all long-range missiles and weapons of mass

destruction before the sanctions are lifted.

The U.N. inspectors are in Iraq seeking to verify compliance.

Iraq claims Americans are determined to maintain the sanctions as

long as Saddam remains in power.

AP-DS-11-13-97 0820EST<

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