| Members of Iraq’s parliament vote on a response to the latest UN resolution in Baghdad onTuesday. (Reuters)
Baghdad, Nov. 12 (Reuters): Iraq’s parliament un animously rejected today a new UN resolution calling on Baghdad to disarm, but said President Saddam Hussein had the final word.
The rejection is a show of anti-American defiance but Saddam — who analysts say takes all key decisions in Iraq — has until Friday to accept it in full or to face “serious consequences”, under a deadline set by the UN Security Council.
His trusted son Uday, a member of parliament, earlier in the day urged the Assembly to accept the UN resolution at its emergency session, which began on Monday.
But speaker Saadoun Hammadi said parliament had unanimously voted to reject the UN demands, approving a motion which a senior deputy read out at the session’s end.
“Parliament recommendations are to reject the UN resolution in accordance with the opinion of our people, who put their confidence in us, and authorise the political leadership to take the appropriate decision to defend Iraq's independence, sovereignty and dignity,” the deputy said. “Parliament authorises President Saddam Hussein to take the appropriate decision and will stand by our leadership in any decision it takes.”
The final say on Iraq’s acceptance of the resolution rested all along with the Revolutionary Command Council, Iraq’s highest authority led by Saddam.
His son Uday had urged the 250-seat parliament to accept.
“What is required from us as a National Assembly is to take clear decisions. We should, as a National Assembly, accept the UN resolution,” he said in a working paper sent to the assembly today.
“Parliament should accept the resolution in accordance with certain procedures and without restrictions because the initiative is not in our hands.”
The speaker Hammadi had denounced the tough UN text yesterday as a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty. “This UN resolution looks for a pretext (for war) and not for a comprehensive solution. It seeks to create crises rather than cooperation and paves the way for aggression rather than peace,” he said at yesterday’s opening session.
It was called after the 15-member UN Security Council voted unanimously on Friday in favour of a US-drafted resolution, demanding Baghdad allow UN arms experts unhindered access to any site suspected of producing chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, or face the consequences.
In US eyes the consequences mean a war to oust Saddam and yesterday President George Bush made clear he would use the full force of US military might to make Iraq comply.
“The dictator of Iraq will fully disarm, or the United States will lead a coalition and disarm him,” Bush said.
IPE Brent crude oil futures surged higher after the parliament rejected the UN text and then slipped back. Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world behind Saudi Arabia.