The United States urged the UN Security Council to support its resolution allowing the use of force to disarm Iraq, warning it would go to war alone if the body failed to provide backing.
President George W. Bush said a draft text -- unveiled by Washington Monday -- was not necessary, after repeatedly warning he would lead a "coalition of the willing" to disarm Iraq.
"As I've said all along, it would be helpful and useful. But I don't believe we need a second resolution. Saddam Hussein hasn't disarmed," Bush said.
But Bush "has not given up hope that it can be still resolved peacefully as a result of Saddam Hussein coming under sufficient international pressure that he gets the message," said spokesman Ari Fleischer.
Meanwhile, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein said he would rather die than leave his country, dismissing recent arguments by U.S. and Arab leaders that he could go into exile to avoid war.
"We will die here. We will die in this country and we will maintain our honor — the honor that is required ... in front of our people," Saddam told CBS.
The network reported excerpts of the interview on its Web site Tuesday night, and said the comments would air Wednesday on "60 Minutes II."
"Whoever decides to forsake his nation from whoever requests is not true to the principles," Saddam said. "I believe that whoever ... offers Saddam asylum in his own country is in fact a person without morals."
Saddam also denied any links to Osama bin Laden or al-Qaeda and indicated he would not set fire to Iraq's oil fields or destroy its dams if a U.S.-led invasion occurs in Iraq.
"Iraq does not burn its wealth and it does not destroy its dams," Saddam stated. He said that Iraq has never had any relationship to al-Qaeda terrorists, "and I think that Mr. bin Laden himself has recently, in one of his speeches, given such an answer that we have no relation with him." (Albawaba.com)
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