The text of a statement by the White House in response to Iraq's offer for the unconditional return of weapons inspectors:
As the president said, the U.N. Security Council needs to decide how to enforce its own resolutions, which the Iraqi regime has defied for more than a decade.
This will require a new, effective U.N. Security Council resolution that will actually deal with the threat Saddam Hussein poses to the Iraqi people, to the region, and to the world. That is the course the Security Council is on, and the United States is engaged in consultations with Council members and other partners in New York at this time.
This is not a matter of inspections. It is about disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and the Iraqi regime's compliance with all other Security Council resolutions.
This is a tactical step by Iraq in hopes of avoiding strong U.N. Security Council action. As such, it is a tactic that will fail.
It is time for the Security Council to act.