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Iraq: U.S. Considering Next Steps

Washington, 31 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - The United States is consulting with members of the United Nations Security Council on what steps to take next against Iraq if President Saddam Hussein continues to defy UN-mandated weapons inspections.

White House spokesman Michael McCurry said yesterday the U.S. will continue discussions with the Security Council and others in the international community "to assure that we've got the means at our disposal to carry out the mandates."

McCurry warned of "serious consequences" if Iraq fails to comply with the UN monitoring regime.

He dismissed as "untrue and a laughable charge" Iraqi claims that Americans on the UN monitoring team are engaging in espionage.

McCurry said the Iraqi leader previously has backed down when faced with the strong will of the international community. He said the U.S. eventually expects the Baghdad regime to compy fully with its obligations.