Iraq Agrees to UN Resolution

Kofi Annan says Baghdad has met the first test in last week's Security Council resolution.

The Iraqis sent the UN Secretary-General a letter accepting the unconditional return of weapons inspectors Wednesday.

After a meeting with President Bush, Annan told reporters chief UN inspector Hans Blix and his team will arrive in Baghdad next week.

Baghdad's nine-page letter insisted Saddam Hussein's regime has no weapons of mass destruction.

It also lambasted the United States and Britain -- co-sponsors of the resolution -- and declared the UN action unjust and illegal.

Annan says he's not sure whether that's a signal of future Iraqi non-cooperation -- or just rhetoric for domestic consumption.

But he says of Iraq's intent, “We are going to test it.''

And as aides voice deep skepticism, President Bush is declaring the world now expects Saddam Hussein to disarm.

The president spoke to reporters shortly after Iraq announced its acceptance of a tough new mandate for UN weapons inspectors.

During a meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Bush refused to take questions on Iraq's letter to Annan agreeing to last week's Security Council resolution.

But Deputy Press Secretary Scott McClellan says of the letter, “We have heard this before from Saddam Hussein.'' McClellan says it's time Saddam backs his words with actions.

Annan says the unanimous council vote “sent a powerful message'' that the international community wants UN resolutions respected. e says chief UN inspector Hans Blix will return to Baghdad next week to resume the hunt for clandestine weapons programs.


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