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Iraq: Parliament Unanimously Rejects UN Resolution

Baghdad, 12 November 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The Iraqi parliament today voted unanimously to recommend rejection of the UN resolution on weapons inspections, but left the final decision to President Saddam Hussein. The parliament said in a statement that it "will stand by any decision" taken by Hussein.

Iraq has until 15 November to inform the UN whether it will cooperate with Security Council Resolution 1441, which demands that arms inspectors be allowed unhindered access to all suspected weapons sites, including presidential compounds. Iraq must also get rid of any nuclear-, biological-, and chemical-weapons programs or face "severe consequences."

In Washington, the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush says it is not concerned by the Iraqi parliament's vote to reject the UN resolution. White House spokesman Sean McCormack described the vote in Baghdad as merely "political theater." McCormack said the United States is awaiting the decision of Iraqi President Hussein, which he said would be Baghdad's official response.