From a news briefing yesterday at the State Department with deputy spokesman James Foley:

Q: I was wondering about the U.S. position on Iraq and on sanctions. The president made a little statement, and of course, you know, things have been going on at the U.N. . . . What's their thinking here -- that you couldn't hold the fort against the rest of the world? Or has your attitude about Iraq changed; you now find them not as bad as you used to?

Mr. Foley: . . . I will give you a detailed answer in terms of what's happening at the U.N., especially in regard to the text that the Netherlands and the U.K. have circulated. But the fundamental answer that I wish to give is that we haven't changed our -- neither our policy nor our attitude towards the Iraqi regime in any way whatsoever. In other words, it's based on a fundamental lack of trust in the intentions and in the performance of the Iraqi regime.

So that what we would like to see happen is that the inspection regime be in a position to go back and do its job of disarming Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction programs. And so any step that we might consider approving would be based completely on Iraqi performance in this regard. In other words, the success of actual disarmament would be the predicate to any adjustment in sanctions. And so it's not putting the cart before the horse in any way, and on that fundamental point, our policy remains unchanged.