Iraq has approved the use of U-2 surveillance planes to help United Nations inspectors look for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Iraq sent a letter to U-N inspectors Monday approving the use of the U-S-made planes. Baghdad also pledged to pass legislation next week outlawing the use of weapons of mass destruction.Both were key unresolved issues after two days of talks that ended Sunday between Iraqi officials and the top U-N weapons inspectors, Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei.
Both men said after the talks Sunday they see signs Iraq is having, in their words, "a change of heart" on the need to cooperate.
Mr. Blix -- who will report Friday to the U-N Security Council -- said he would rather see the inspection process continue than some other solution -- an apparent reference to possible U-S-led military action.
During a speech Monday, President Bush repeated that Iraq will be forcefully disarmed if it chooses not to disarm on its own. And he said the Iraqi leader plans to use civilians as human shields in the event of war. Mr. Bush said everything possible will be done to protect civilian lives.
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said Monday Iran's opposition to a U-S-led war against Iraq is not a signal that Tehran supports Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Mr. Khatami, quoted by the state news agency IRNA , said Iran's opposition to a military strike on Iraq does not mean the Islamic Republic supports what he called "the methods used by Saddam."
President Khatami called on Iraq to cooperate with U-N inspectors and comply with U-N Security Council resolutions.
Meanwhile, U-S military officials say allied aircraft bombed an Iraqi surface-to-air missile system Monday after Iraqi forces moved it into the southern "no-fly" zone. A statement said the presence of the weapons system was a threat to coalition aircraft.