president of Iraq, in September agreed to allow UN weapons inspectors to return to his country unconditionally after months of warnings of a preemptive military strike by the U.S. However, the defiant Hussein then reversed himself and refused to grant inspectors unfettered access to some sites, including his array of presidential palaces. As the UN Security Council wrangled over the wording of a resolution that calls for the disarmament of Iraq, Hussein continued to taunt the U.S. with his trademark bluster. “In targeting Iraq, America is acting for the Zionists who are killing the heroic people of Palestine, destroying their properties, murdering their children, and working to impose their domination on the whole world,” he said in a letter to the United Nations. In October, days after he was reelected with 100% support in an election with no other candidates, Hussein granted amnesty to tens of thousands of prisoners.
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