Sixty-four percent of Americans approve of President Clinton's recent handling of Iraq, although most doubt the United Nations' deal with Saddam Hussein will solve anything, according to a Newsweek poll released Saturday.

The survey also showed that 44 percent find it "very likely" the United States will take military action against Iraq within the year because of Saddam's failure to honor the deal.The poll, which appears in the magazine's March 9 issue (on newsstands Monday), is based on interviews with 752 adults conducted Thursday and Friday. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan signed an accord in Baghdad on Monday that calls for Iraq to give U.N. inspectors unrestricted access to all suspected weapons sites.

Iraq agreed to such access following the gulf war, but Saddam has refused to let inspectors into several suspected weapons sites, sparking a threat by the United States to attack the country.

While 61 percent of Americans do not believe the deal will work, 55 percent think the agreement was "worth it" to reduce tensions and avoid military action.

The survey also found that 82 percent of Americans are concerned that tensions with Iraq might lead to biological or chemical weapons being used in attacks on the United States and on Americans abroad.

If that happens, 52 percent did not think the United States was prepared to handle such a threat.

The Newsweek poll also queried Americans about the sex allegations against Clinton. Among the findings:

- Barely 38 percent felt Clinton should leave office if he's found to have been involved in perjury with regard to the Monica Lewinsky case.

- Forty-eight percent thought independent counsel Kenneth Starr had gone too far in his methods and should be removed from office.

- Fifty-six percent of those polled believe Linda Tripp's main motivation in secretly taping her conversations with Lewinsky was to get attention or make money through a book deal.