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Iraq: Ambassadors Urge Security Council Restraint

United Nations, 17 October 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Representatives of countries across the globe have been telling the United Nations Security Council to give renewed weapons inspections in Iraq a chance before threatening military force. Those who have called for restraint during the open Security Council debate which opened yesterday have included Kuwait and Iran, both of which were invaded by Iraq.

Ambassadors from Middle East countries told the Security Council that a United States-led military strike against Iraq could destabilize the region for years to come.

However, ambassadors also demanded that Iraq promptly comply with U.N. resolutions and dismantle all weapons of mass destruction.

Iraqi Ambassador Mohammed al-Douri, in his speech, accused the United States of trying to block the return of arms inspectors in order to have a pretext to invade Iraq and control Middle East oil.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is due to address the Security Council session when it continues later today.

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell discussed a possible new Security Council resolution on Iraq with visiting French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie.