Britain and Japan formally submitted a draft resolution late Friday that would warn Iraq of "very severe" consequences if it again barred U.N. inspectors from searching for weapons of mass destruction.

The wording, after consultations with key council members, was changed to "very severe" from "the severest consequences." But the main thrust of the document was similar to earlier versions despite objections from France, Russia, China and others.However, the new text, like earlier versions, does not say the council has to take another decision in determining a violation by Iraq or authorizing the use of force, apparently leaving this provision open to differing interpretations.

Britain and Japan, sponsors of the resolution, hope for a vote on Monday after members have consulted their respective cap-itals. But depending on the responses, adoption could be delayed until Tuesday, diplomats said.