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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Iraq's Media: Leadership May Accept U.N. Terms

Aired November 7, 2002 - 12:03   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: President Bush spoke by phone with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, earlier today. The White House says both do agree on the need to reach a strong resolution at the United Nations, but the White House is mum, at least for now, on whether President Putin has agreed to support the new version of the U.S.-British proposal.
From Baghdad, there's word that Iraq may be willing to accept a new U.N. resolution; then again, maybe not.

Let's get the view from inside Iraq right now with CNN's Baghdad bureau chief, Jane Arraf -- Jane.

JANE ARRAF, CNN BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF: Hi, Wolf. Well, you're absolutely right. It is always unpredictable here.

But the sense from this morning's reading of the official statements coming out, was that Iraq is, indeed, paving the way to announce to its people that it is going to accept the resolution.

Now, that's a pretty difficult thing to say for Iraq. For weeks and weeks, we've been hearing that there is no need for a new resolution, and this from officials all the way from President Saddam Hussein on down -- no need for a new resolution, and the existing resolution, a cover for war and a pretext for a U.S. grab for Iraqi oil.

Now to come down from that to accepting it is a long way, but Iraq does seem to be laying the groundwork for that with indications today that it will not ignore or violate Security Council resolutions -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jane, is there any sense that if these inspectors do show up in the next few weeks, that presumably Hans Blix, the chief U.N. weapons inspector -- he's ready to move immediately after they get this new authority from the United Nations -- that the Iraqis are ready to receive them right away?

ARRAF: They are not only ready, they say they will receive them with open arms. Iraq has been saying for quite a while now that they want the inspectors back in. And in fact, they've complained that the inspectors have missed the deadline for coming in.

Now, this is all in line with Iraq's strategy, of course, of being seen to comply with this resolution. It's under no illusions that it has any more chances, and is really taking to heart the advice that this really is the last chance to avoid a war, to accept this resolution.

So, they will let the inspectors in, they will let Blix in, and they say they will comply. We haven't heard the details yet from the Iraqi government. Indeed, we haven't had the resolution passed yet, but they really want to make very clear from here that they do want to comply and get this over with -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jane Arraf in Baghdad -- thanks very much.

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