Gorbachev slams U.S. over Iraq war, contends international law 'cast aside'

Eretz-Yisrael News

May 5, 2003

HAMBURG, Germany, May 05, 2003 (AP WorldStream via COMTEX) -- Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev on Monday attacked the United States' decision to go to war in Iraq without specific U.N. backing, accusing it of casting aside international law.

Gorbachev praised resistance to the war in the U.N. Security Council from Russia, France and Germany, telling reporters that their positions "showed great responsibility and were correct."

"International law was cast aside," the former Soviet leader said. "The country that made democracy its banner ignored the majority."

Gorbachev, calling for the Security Council to assume control of postwar Iraq, accused Washington of "imperial behavior."

A November resolution required Iraq to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors or face "serious consequences," but did not mention whether force could be used.

The United States launched military action in March after abandoning efforts to secure a second Security Council resolution specifically paving the way for the use of force.

French President Jacques Chirac had said France would use its veto if necessary to crush any automatic use of force against Iraq.