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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Iraqi Assembly Convenes to Consider U.N. Edict

Aired November 11, 2002 - 12:04   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: The Bush administration is openly ridiculing a special session of the Iraqi Parliament that's debating the U.N. resolution passed on Friday.
CNN Baghdad bureau chief Jane Arraf tells us what's going on.

Jane -- have they agreed to the resolution?

JANE ARRAF, CNN BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF: They haven't. We're actually right in the middle of this, and speakers, one after the other, are denouncing the resolution. Some pretty strong words here. Most of them see it as a pretext for war by the United States; others, as an example of duplicity.

One of them has listed all of the things that weapons inspectors did in seven years here, something like 276 inspection teams, 495 sites under long-term monitoring. And the most dramatic, the head of the foreign relations committee, saying that his committee within the parliament actually recommended against this resolution.

But we're still a long way from finished. This session is expected to last until tomorrow, Carol, and so, the expectation that at the end of the day, Iraq will approve the resolution letting weapons inspectors back for the first time in four years -- Carol.

LIN: Jane, is there an understanding, though, that this means full access, including to the presidential palaces, as well as Iraqi scientists?

ARRAF: Well, if they accept it, they accept the resolution and all of its terms. That is what they're signing up for. If at the end of the day, the assembly recommends to the Revolution Command Council -- essentially the decisions-making body under the Iraqi president -- that it would be accepted, in that sense, yes, they are.

It's another matter of what happens on the ground, because a lot of these things in this very complex and detailed Security Council resolution are necessarily open to interpretation. Otherwise, they never would have come to agreement at the Security Council on any resolution.

So, once this is accepted, it gets harder from there. The real problems are going to come down the road when the inspectors are actually here -- Carol.

LIN: That's right, and they have until Friday, the Iraqis, to make their decision now. Thank you very much -- Jane Arraf reporting live in Baghdad.

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