BAGHDAD, March 11 (UPI) -- Iraq on Monday appealed to Arab leaders to reject potential U.S. military action to oust President Saddam Hussein.
Iraqi Deputy President Taha Yassin Ramadan made his appeal in comments to reporters on the sidelines of the Seventh Conference of Arab National Forces held in Baghdad before Vice President Dick Cheney's visit to the region. Cheney was expected to promote the idea of ousting Saddam during his visit to the Middle East.
Ramadan called Cheney a criminal who should not be allowed to decide the fate of the Arab nation.
It was the first official Iraqi comments on Cheney's 12-nation tour, which will take him to nine Arab countries.
Ramadan said over the weekend his country would not accept the return of U.N. disarmament inspectors because there was no reason or justification for it, implying Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction.