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Iraq: U.S. Says Authority Exists For Firm Actions

Washington, 3 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - State Department spokesman James Rubin says the U.S. believes sufficient United Nations authority exists for firm action against Iraq.

Rubin made the comment Friday when he was asked about Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov's comments during a tour of the Middle East that Moscow opposes any use of force against Iraq.

Rubin said it was always "very tricky" to quote the Russian government's official statements. He did not explain the comment further, but said the U.S. believes that United Nations Security Council authority exists for very firm action.

The events came about when Iraq banned U.S. observers from a United Nations weapons inspection team.