Meanwhile, thousands of Iraqi reservists reported to army units Tuesday on call-up orders from their rulers for all able-bodied 33-year-old reservists.

Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council said "many heads will roll and many thrones will fall," if war breaks out in the gulf.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz had planned talks this week with Foreign Minister Gianni De Michelis of Italy, the European Community chairman.

European leaders put the meeting on hold after talks that had been scheduled for Monday between Aziz and President Bush were scrubbed.

Baker said Tuesday he had no problem with a European meeting with Aziz.

European Community foreign ministers reconsidered the matter, then decided against any talks unless Iraq holds talks with the United States first, officials said.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry Tuesday criticized the EC's earlier refusal to hold talks, accusing the Europeans of trying to "appease" the United States. Baker, speaking at a news conference after a two-day meeting of foreign ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Belgium, said, "We support . . . any diplomatic efforts that might result in a peaceful solution.

"The one thing we do discourage," he said, "are discordant messages, mixed messages or mixed signals."

He told the NATO meeting that Iraq may take the "dramatic step" of a partial withdrawal on or about Jan. 15 and urged the allies to reject it as a "ploy."

The NATO foreign ministers, in a statement, said "there can be no partial solutions" to the gulf crisis.

The Bush-Aziz talks on Monday were scrubbed over differences on the timing of a subsequent trip to Baghdad by Baker.

Saddam has sought to hold the meeting Jan. 12, which Bush says is too late. Bush has said Saddam's intransigence on the issue signals his lack of willingness to leave Kuwait.

A Turkish report Tuesday quoted Saddam as saying direct talks with the United States would be useless if the American side merely reiterates U.N. Security Council resolutions on the crisis.

"We have already read them (the resolutions), we know them and we rejected them," Saddam told a Turkish television journalist.

Iran's president, meanwhile, said if Iraq finds itself under attack by the U.S.-led forces, the Baghdad government itself would bear the responsibility.

The official Islamic Republic News agency, monitored in Nicosia, Cyprus, quoted Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani as saying "we are feeling very uneasy over the fact that the Iraqi people may be hurt by the Americans."

But he told a group of college students in Tehran that "the responsibility for this rests with the Iraqi regime," IRNA said.