UNITED NATIONS – Iraq will review the Security Council's new resolution on weapons inspections before deciding whether to accept the plan, Iraq's ambassador said Friday.
"Iraq will certainly study the resolution and decided whether we can accept it or not," Iraqi Ambassador Mohammed Al-Douri said moments after the resolution was unanimously approved.
Al-Douri said he was surprised by Syria's support for the resolution but said Baghdad would not hold it against Damascus.
"I don't blame anyone. We respect and understand all the votes," he said, hinting that Iraq had also held out hope of a Russian abstention, which never came.
Under the new U.S.-drafted resolution, Iraq has seven days — until Nov. 15 — to accept the terms of the resolution, which strengthens the inspections regime and threatens Iraq with "serious consequences" if it fails to comply with its disarmament obligations.
Russia, one of the five veto-wielding members of the council, is Iraq's most important council ally and has often abstained from Iraq votes in an effort to shield Baghdad.
Syria, Iraq's Arab neighbor, has said over the past eight weeks that it opposed any new resolution. But its support was won over in the last hours of negotiations, due, in part, to French pressure, diplomats said.
On Thursday, Iraqi state media called the draft resolution a pretext for war and urged the Security Council not to bow to American demands.
"America wants to use this resolution as a pretext and a cover for its aggression on Iraq and the whole Arab nation," the ruling Baath Party newspaper Al-Thawra said Thursday.