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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iraqi Parliament Condemns UN Text

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq's parliament condemned a tough, new UN resolution as full of lies and ill intentions during a special session Monday in which a senior lawmaker urged it be rejected -- a prospect that likely would bring on war.

President Saddam Hussein, however, has used parliament to provide some cover for difficult decisions in the past, and harsh rhetoric does not necessarily mean parliament ultimately will reject the proposal.

Hussein ordered parliament to recommend a formal Iraqi response, but it was not clear if a vote would come Monday night. Iraq has until Friday to accept or reject the resolution, approved unanimously last week by the UN Security Council.

Salim al-Koubaisi, head of parliament's foreign relations committee, advised following the "wise Iraqi leadership," but recommended it reject the resolution.

"The committee advises ... the rejection of Security Council Resolution 1441 and to not agree to it in response to the opinions of our people, who put their trust in us," al-Koubaisi told lawmakers.

Parliament's response to the new UN resolution, which demands Iraq cooperate with UN inspectors hunting for weapons of mass destruction or face "serious consequences," will be a recommendation to the Revolutionary Command Council, Iraq's major executive body headed by Hussein.

Should parliament recommend acceptance, as expected, it would allow Hussein to claim the decision as the will of the Iraqi people and more smoothly retreat from previous objections to any new resolution governing weapons inspections.

The open session of a parliament stacked with Hussein's allies was being aired live on Iraqi satellite television. Lawmakers applauded every time Hussein's name was mentioned.

On convening the session, Parliament speaker Saadoun Hamadi denounced the resolution as one stacked with "ill intentions," "falsehood," "lies" and "dishonesty." He told the parliament it "does not have the minimum of fairness, objectivity and balance," and violates international law.

The UN resolution gives inspectors unrestricted access to any suspected weapons site and the right to interview Iraqi scientists outside the country and without Iraqi officials present -- both issues that could become points of dispute. Iraq has insisted on respect for its sovereignty, an argument it has used in the past to restrict access to Hussein's palaces. If Hussein fails to follow through, U.S. officials have said a Pentagon plan calls for more than 200,000 troops to invade Iraq.

Iraq's state-run al-Jumhuriya daily on Monday urged Arab governments and people to "stand firm against U.S. aggressive schemes" against Iraq and the Arabs. In a front-page editorial, the newspaper called on Arab governments to use oil as a weapon against the United States and Britain. Hussein has called on Arab oil exporters to boycott the West before, but Gulf oil producers say such a move would be impractical and not in their interest.

In Cairo, foreign ministers of Arab League nations ended a two-day meeting with a final communique that seeks to avoid U.S.-Iraq confrontation. It urges Iraq and the United Nations to work together to implement the resolution and calls on the United States to commit to pledges it gave Syria that the resolution could not be used to justify military action.