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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Building Case for War Against Iraq

UNITED NATIONS/WASHINGTON -- By asserting that Iraq's arms declaration put it in material breach of UN resolutions, the United States added to the stash of violations it can use to make its case to the Security Council when Washington is ready to go to war against Iraq.

Secretary of State Colin Powell's charge against Iraq was similar to the bluntly critical assessment by Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei, the chief weapons inspectors. But the U.S. contention that Iraq's lapses amounted to the most serious form of defiance put it far out ahead of the other council nations, including Britain, its closest ally.

One after another, council diplomats have come forward since the weapons inspectors' briefing Thursday to urge caution about activating the severe consequences threatened in the resolution.

The Bush administration is increasingly confident that by January it will have marshaled the evidence to convince the Security Council that Iraq is in violation of the UN resolution and to call for the use of force, officials said.

Administration officials pointed to Jan. 27, when Blix is scheduled to make his first substantive report to the Security Council on Iraq's weapons declaration as well as Baghdad's cooperation with inspectors and in making Iraqi scientists involved in banned weapons programs available for interviews with UN officials. (NYT, WP)