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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Showdown Iraq: Iraqi Parliament Rejects U.N. Disarmament Edict

Aired November 12, 2002 - 12:00   ET

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

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: In Baghdad today, Iraq's parliament gave a collective thumbs-down to the U.N.'s terms for mandatory disarmament. The vote, after two days of fiery speeches, was unanimous, but the final decision, of course, belongs to the Revolutionary Command Council, which is chaired by Saddam Hussein.
For that reason, the White House is dismissing all of these preliminaries as simply "pure theater."

CNN's Baghdad bureau chief, Jane Arraf, is waiting in the wings with an update, and she is joining me now live -- Jane.

JANE ARRAF, CNN BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF: Hi, Wolf.

Well, there was certainly an element of theater to it, but the plot line appears to be moving towards still an acceptance of that resolution, which is really what counts.

Now, this unanimous no-vote with the show of hands through the National Assembly today, not just rejecting the resolution saying that it was a terrible resolution that would harm Iraq and posed impossible conditions and set the stage for Iraq to fail, paving the way for a military attack, it also put its faith in the Iraqi leadership, which, as you pointed out, is essentially where the decision lies.

Now, it looks like that decision might stretch on until the Friday deadline. There are still lots more for Iraqi officials to say about this, and a lot more reasons to put forth their protests about why this resolution is unworkable before they finally do, as expected, accept the resolution -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jane Arraf in Baghdad -- thanks very much.

Usually the Iraqis do wait until that last second before the deadline is over with, before they go ahead and say yes. If history is a judge this particular time, that's what they'll do as well.

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