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Iraqi Media Calls U.N. Resolution 'Bad and Unjust'

Iraq's official news agency called the U.N. Security Council resolution to disarm Iraq "bad and unjust," but said the nation's leaders would look it over and indicate whether they will accept it in the next few days.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein remained silent on Friday's resolution, leaving the official Iraqi news agency and Baghdad's satellite TV channel to voice the leadership's obvious anger over the measure.

"The whole world knows that the approval of this resolution was a result of U.S. blackmail and pressure exerted on the Security Council members," the TV broadcast said.

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.

Iraq's decision on whether or not to accept the resolution is expected to be made by a joint meeting of the Revolutionary Command Council and the Regional Command of the ruling Baath party, to be chaired by Saddam.

The news outlet said that although the resolution is "unjust," Iraq's leaders "will study quietly this resolution and will issue the proper response in the next few days." It quoted an unidentified "official source."

Meanwhile, in Cairo, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri confirmed his government was going to take its time to respond to the resolution.

"Baghdad will study the resolution and we will take a decision later," he said after talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher during a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Arab League on Saturday.

Sabri derided the American diplomatic success in getting the resolution passed.

"America's aggressive goal of using the Security Council as a cover for an aggression on Iraq was thwarted by the international community," Sabri said, referring to the revisions made to secure Russian, French and Chinese approval of the resolution. "We expect the Arab countries to act to protect their security. This (U.S.) threat doesn't only threaten Iraq's security, but the security of Arab states."

Babil, an Iraqi newspaper owned by Saddam's son, on Saturday wrote in an editorial, "We were not surprised by the resolution, but we are sorry about what the United Nations has become."

The front-page editorial said it expected Washington to apply pressure to the U.N. weapons inspectors, who are scheduled to arrive in Iraq beginning Nov. 18, "to do things not included in their mandate to provoke Iraq." The paper said Iraq will not give America a chance "to use such opportunity."

Babil pointed out that the resolution was supported by Syria, the sole Arab member of the Security Council and a country led by a rival wing of the Baath party. "Even you, Syria, accepted the resolution," the editorial said.

Despite Iraq's criticism of the resolution, the United States and countries throughout the world on Friday said it is key to holding Saddam accountable for his actions and to making sure he disarms his weapons of mass destruction.

"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 Friday.

"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.

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.

"Whenever the council is united, it sends a very powerful signal, and I hope that Iraq will heed that signal," said U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. "The road ahead will be difficult and dangerous but empowered by this resolution."

Annan said success of the weapons 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."

Britain's U.N. Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock relayed similar thoughts: "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.

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.

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.

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