The top United Nations weapons inspectors report today (Friday) to the Security Council on whether Iraq is complying with the resolution demanding Baghdad give up weapons of mass destruction.
The briefing by chief inspector Hans Blix and U-N nuclear agency head Mohamed ElBaradei comes as the five permanent Council members remain split on whether the time for military action against Iraq has arrived.
The United States and Britain are building up forces in the Persian Gulf region while France, Russia, and China are pushing for more inspections.
President Bush says he hopes the United Nations will maintain its credibility and enforce its resolution demanding that Iraq give up weapons of mass destruction or face serious consequences.
Mr. ElBaradei told Reuters news agency Thursday that he believes only 100-percent cooperation by Baghdad in the inspection process will prevent the United States from launching a military attack. He says Iraq still has a chance to exonerate itself.
Meanwhile, a panel of arms experts has concluded that an Iraqi ballistic missile clearly exceeds the range limit set by the U-N Security Council -- something Iraq says is not true.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Iraq would be in breach of U-N disarmament resolutions if the reports of the range of the Iraqi missile are confirmed. But Russia says Baghdad does not have such missiles.
In another development, officials in Baghdad say the Iraqi parliament will hold an emergency session Friday to debate a draft law prohibiting individuals and companies from developing banned weapons.