An Iraqi newspaper said on Tuesday that Baghdad would not back down on its decision to suspend cooperation with U.N. weapons inspectors until the United Nations lifted trade sanctions.
"Iraq will stick to its position and will not back down on its legitimate rights and will confront American arrogance, recklessness and tyranny," the government newspaper al-Jumhouriya said.The paper said Baghdad would resume its cooperation with the inspectors only when "its legitimate rights are met, the most important of which is implementing article 22 of the (U.N. Security Council) resolution 687."
Article 22 calls for lifting the embargo on Iraq's oil exports imposed eight years ago as punishment for Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
Jumhouriya added that President Clinton might order strikes against Iraq in order to detract attention from his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
On Aug. 5, Iraq banned the U.N. Special Commission, in charge of Iraqi disarmament, from visiting new sites until it was restructured to eliminate American influence.
The United States and Britain want the Security Council to suspend its regular review of Iraqi sanctions until Baghdad cooperates with arms inspectors, officials from both countries said on Monday.