BAGHDAD, Iraq – President Saddam Hussein ordered the Iraqi parliament to hold an emergency session to discuss a U.N. Security Council resolution that again calls on the country to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction or face "serious consequences," Iraqi media reported Sunday.
The report on al-Shabab TV, owned by Saddam's oldest son Odai, seemed to signal that a reply to the U.N. on accepting the resolution and the return of U.N. weapons inspectors would not come immediately, although the Security Council resolution, adopted unanimously on Friday, demands a response within seven days.
Neither the television station nor the official Iraqi News Agency made clear when the parliamentary session would be held. Al-Shabab TV said parliament's decision on the resolution would be referred to the Revolutionary Command Council, the country's major executive body, which is headed by Saddam.
In Cairo, foreign ministers attending an Arab League meeting said after discussions with Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri that they believe Iraq was ready to announce its acceptance. But Sabri told reporters that no decision had been made by Baghdad.
The resolution gives broad new powers to the weapons inspectors, allowing them unrestricted access to all possible weapons sites.
The entry into Saddam's presidential palaces was a contentious issue between Iraq and the weapons inspectors who worked in the country in the 1990s. The inspectors were pulled out ahead of December 1998 air raids by the United States and Britain, and they were prevented from returning by Iraq.