WASHINGTON ---President Bush said it is "highly doubtful" that Saddam Hussein will meet U.S. demands that Iraq live up to the U.N. Security Council resolutions.
"For 11 long years he has basically told the United Nations and the world that he doesn't care," Bush said at the White House.
The president said the United States wants to work with the world community on solving the problems Iraq poses. "I hope the world community knows that we're extremely serious about what I said yesterday, and we expect quick resolution to the issue."
Bush wants a new Security Council resolution to authorize actions against Iraq. He said the United States would like deadlines within the resolution. "We're talking days and weeks, not months and years," the president said.
He said this is essential for world security. On Sept. 12, Bush cited Hussein's recalcitrance in meeting any of the U.N. Security Council resolutions imposed during and after the Persian Gulf War. He also warned nations that Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction in his possession and is seeking more capabilities including nuclear arms.
Bush said if the United Nations doesn't act, and act quickly, the world organization would be in danger of becoming irrelevant. "This man has had 11 years to comply, and for 11 long years he's ignored world opinion," Bush said. "He's put the credibility of the United Nations on the line.
"How we deal with this problem will help determine the fate of a multilateral body, which has been unilaterally ignored by Saddam Hussein.
-ends- Bush Doubts Iraq Will Fulfill Resolutions, Wants Deadlines