Saddam Hussein and his senior aides met Sunday to discuss a general mobilization of Iraqis against a possible U.S. strike, the official Iraqi News Agency reported.

President Bush recently warned Saddam there would be consequence if Iraq did not resume co-operation with U.N. arms inspectors, who have been barred from Iraq since 1998.

On Sunday, Saddam chaired a meeting of the two most powerful bodies in his regime — the Revolutionary Command Council and the Regional Command of the ruling Baath party — to discuss ways to improve a mobilization of Iraqis, INA said.

The meeting discussed means to "confront the malicious, hostile plans that the rulers of America are brandishing against our people, and how to thwart them," the agency added.

Saddam has previously said Iraq will not be caught off guard by a U.S. strike.

U.N. arms inspectors are charged with verifying that Iraq has eliminated its weapons of mass destruction and the means to produce them — one of the conditions for the lifting of sanctions imposed since Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.