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U.N. Security Council Unanimously OKs U.S. Iraq Resolution

The U.N. Security Council on Friday unanimously approved a resolution that forces Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to disarm or face "serious consequences" that would almost certainly mean war with Iraq.

The vote was 15-to-nothing. A minimum of nine votes and no veto was required for the resolution to pass.

"If Iraq fails to fully comply, the United States and other nations will disarm Saddam Hussein," President Bush said in the Rose Garden after the vote was completed.

"The world has now come together to say the outlaw regime in Iraq must not be allowed to build or possess chemical, biological or nuclear weapons," said Bush, flanked by Secretary of State Colin Powell. "Now the world must insist that that judgment be enforced."

But Bush cautioned that promises of disarmament and cooperation from Iraq aren't new.

"Iraq can be certain the old game of cheat and retreat -- tolerated at other times -- will no longer be tolerated," Bush said. "Any Iraqi noncompliance is serious."

Iraq has seven days to accept the resolution's terms and 30 days to declare all its chemical, biological and nuclear programs.

After the U.N. vote, the Iraqi ambassador said his country will study the new resolution before deciding on acceptance.

U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix said his teams would be returning to Baghdad on Nov. 18. The inspectors must report any Iraqi infraction immediately to the council for its assessment.

Blix has said an advance inspections team would be involved mostly with logistics and preparations for resuming full inspections but that some surprise checks could be done.

Inspectors from the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission as well as a nuclear team from the International Atomic Energy Agency are mandated to disarm Iraq of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a staunch ally of Bush on Iraq, stressed from London that it's "the duty of Saddam Hussein" to disarm and comply with weapons inspections, or else.

"It is not a game of hide and seek where the inspectors try their best to find the weapons and Saddam does his best to conceal them … there must be no more games, no more deceit," Blair said.

Then, speaking to Saddam directly, Blair added: "Cooperate fully and, despite the terrible injustices you have often perpetrated on others, we will be just with you. But defy the United Nations' will, and we will disarm you by force."

Meanwhile, members of the U.N. Security Council took turns explaining to the world exactly what the resolution -- and a violation of it -- will mean.

"I know it has not been easy to reach an agreement -- it has required both patience and persistence, but the effort has been well worthwhile," said U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. "Whenever the council is united, it sends a very powerful signal, and I hope that Iraq will heed that signal."

"The road ahead will be difficult and dangerous but empowered by this resolution," Annan continued, saying weapons inspections and others "stand equipped to carry out their vital tasks." He said success of the inspections will require "full and unconditional cooperation" from Iraq and the "continued determination" from the international community to hold Iraq accountable.

"How this crisis is resolved will affect greatly the course of peace and security" in the region and the world, Annan said.

John Negroponte, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said there is now just one message being sent to Iraq from the international community: Noncompliance is no longer an option.

"This resolution constituted the world community's demand that Iraq disclose and destroy its weapons of mass destruction," he said. "We hope all member states will now press Iraq to undertake that cooperation. This resolution is designed to test Iraq’s intentions."

Negroponte sent a strong warning to Iraq against not complying with what is outlined in the resolution, saying, "Every act of Iraq noncompliance will be a serious matter because it will tell us Iraq has no intention of disarming."

"This resolution affords Iraq a final opportunity," Negroponte said.

Britain's U.N. Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock stressed that the resolution "makes crystal clear" what is expected of Iraq. "This will reinforce international confidence in the inspectors; it will also, I hope, lead Iraq away from a fatal decision to conceal weapons of mass destruction."

If Iraq fails to live up to its responsibilities, Greenstock said, "we would expect the security council then to meet its responsibilities," which include going to war.

Even Syria decided to align itself with the United States. The Mideast nation, which has repeatedly opposed any new resolution, was expected to abstain, vote "no" or not vote at all. It had asked for voting to be delayed until after a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo this weekend.

After eight weeks of diplomatic wrangling, the final draft still meets the Bush administration's key demands: toughening U.N. weapons inspections and leaving the United States free to take military action against Iraq if inspectors say Baghdad isn't complying.

But it also gives Saddam "a final opportunity" to cooperate with weapons inspectors, holds out the possibility of lifting 12-year-old sanctions imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait and reaffirms the country's sovereignty.

In Moscow, Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov said Russia still had concerns over the U.S. resolution, but "the important thing is that the automatic use of force against Iraq was scrapped."

In Thursday evening's final revision, just two words were changed to meet French and Russian concerns about a possible trigger.

In a key provision that would declare Iraq in "material breach" of its U.N. obligations, the United States changed wording that would have let Washington determine on its own whether Iraq had committed an infraction. Such a determination, France and Russia feared, would have triggered an attack on Saddam.

The new wording requires U.N. weapons inspectors to make an assessment of any Iraqi violations. Inspectors will have "unconditional and unrestricted access" to all sites, including eight presidential compounds where surprise inspections have been barred. Inspectors have 45 days from Friday to begin their work.

In Iraq, the government-controlled media called the draft resolution a pretext for war and urged the Security Council not to bow to American demands.

Fox News' Liza Porteus and the Associated Press contributed to this report.