On 8 November 2002, the Security Council passed Resolution 1441 by a unanimous 15 to 0 vote, which included Russia, China and France, and Arab countries, such as Syria. This gave this resolution wider support than even the 1990 Gulf War resolution. Although the Iraqi parliament voted against honoring the UN resolution, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein over-ruled them.
While some politicians have argued that the resolution could authorize war under certain circumstances, the representatives in the meeting were clear that this was not the case. The ambassador for the United States, John Negroponte, said:
" [T]his resolution contains no "hidden triggers" and no "automaticity" with respect to the use of force. If there is a further Iraqi breach, reported to the Council by UNMOVIC, the IAEA or a Member State, the matter will return to the Council for discussions as required in paragraph 12. "
The ambassador for the United Kingdom, the co-sponsor of the resolution, said:
" We heard loud and clear during the negotiations the concerns about "automaticity" and "hidden triggers" -- the concern that on a decision so crucial we should not rush into military action; that on a decision so crucial any Iraqi violations should be discussed by the Council. Let me be equally clear in response... There is no "automaticity" in this resolution. If there is a further Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations, the matter will return to the Council for discussion as required in paragraph 12. We would expect the Security Council then to meet its responsibilities. "
The message was further confirmed by the ambassador for Syria:
" Syria voted in favour of the resolution, having received reassurances from its sponsors, the United States of America and the United Kingdom, and from France and Russia through high-level contacts, that it would not be used as a pretext for striking against Iraq and does not constitute a basis for any automatic strikes against Iraq. The resolution should not be interpreted, through certain paragraphs, as authorizing any State to use force. It reaffirms the central role of the Security Council in addressing all phases of the Iraqi issue."