UNITED NATIONS (AP) — With an American-led war imminent, the world's staunchest opponents of that action told the Security Council on Wednesday that there was no proof Iraq posed a threat.
"If today, we really had indisputable facts demonstrating that from the territory of Iraq there was a direct threat to the United States," Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said Wednesday, his country would use "any means" to help.
But no proof has been produced, Ivanov said, and the Security Council had been brushed aside.
His remarks were coordinated with the foreign ministers of France and Germany, who also addressed the council.
"Germany emphatically rejects the impending war," Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said. Iraqi disarmaments were slow in coming, "but can they seriously be regarded as grounds for war?" he asked.
But the symbolic protest at the United Nations is unlikely to affect Washington's resolve to topple Saddam Hussein.
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin also denounced war but noted that the Security Council must now look toward humanitarian aid. His remarks received applause.
Hans Blix, the U.N.'s chief weapons inspector, addressed the packed council chamber, and presented, as scheduled, his "work schedule" of disarmament tasks.
It was a procedural action that carried no weight.
"I naturally feel sadness that three and half months of work carried out in Iraq have not brought the assurances needed about the absence of weapons of mass destruction," he said.