BONN, NOV. 9 -- Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said tonight that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's attempts to weaken international resolve in the Persian Gulf "have failed and will continue to be doomed."
Speaking after he and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl signed a treaty giving the Soviet Union the closest ties it has ever had to a Western nation, Gorbachev called the Persian Gulf crisis a "test" of the post-Cold War world order that has emerged since the Berlin Wall opened exactly one year ago.
At a news conference, Gorbachev said the nations allied against Iraq already have won a "great victory" by joining together to condemn aggression against Kuwait.
Although the Soviet Union has previously shown concern that the United States has been too quick to accelerate its military build-up in the gulf, Gorbachev did not issue his standard plea for a diplomatic solution in the region. Instead he said the United Nations "should decide now how to proceed further."
"There will be a decision. It will be achieved," Gorbachev said. Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze said in Moscow on Thursday that the Kremlin no longer ruled out the use of force in the gulf.
Gorbachev declined to say whether Soviet troops might join in military action against Iraq. Any decision about action against Iraq "will be taken by the United Nations," he said.