Unilateral Attack Could Sink the U.N., Says Vatican Official

ROME, MARCH 9, 2003 (Zenit.org).- A unilateral attack on Iraq without the approval of the U.N. Security Council could be the deathblow of the United Nations, says a Vatican official.

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«This is a very grave risk that the international community should not run,» warned Archbishop Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and formerly a Vatican permanent observer to the United Nations. «We know how miserably the League of Nations failed.»

During an interview Saturday with the Misna missionary agency, the archbishop explained: «I have read in the newspapers that Saddam Hussein has been given a 10-day ultimatum. But that resolution has not been voted on, and, therefore, is of no value until it is approved.»

Asked how the impasse could be overcome, Archbishop Martino replied: «As Hans Blix has said, the U.N. inspectors need at least another four months to finish their work.»

«Moreover, thanks to the pressure exercised by George W. Bush, Iraq is responding to the inspectors’ demands,» he said.

According to U.N. Resolution 1441, the inspectors have the power «to destroy the weapons of mass destruction or to render them inoffensive,» the archbishop stressed.

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