WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush Thursday challenged the United Nations to back its words with actions in the face what he labelled Iraqi defiance and mockery of the U.N. resolution calling for it to disarm.
The day after Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the U.N. Security Council cataloguing what the U.S. calls a sustained attempt by Iraq to evade and deceive U.N. weapons inspectors, Bush repeated many of the charges Powell made linking Iraq to terrorist groups and possessing weapons of mass destruction.
"The Iraqi regime's violations of Security Council resolutions are apparent and are continuing to this hour," Bush said in a televised statement from the White House.
Bush said if the United Nations was not prepared to act, the United States would act at the head of a coalition of countries to disarm Iraq.
"Now the Security Council will show if its words have any meaning, " Bush said
Earlier White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said the White House hopes to use the momentum from Powell's presentation to build diplomatic support for military action against Iraq.
Powell used satellite photos and communications intercepts to demonstrate Iraq continues to pursue nuclear, chemical and biological weapons despite U.N. resolutions requiring it to disarm. (Full story)
Thursday was a day of numerous developments:
* Powell continued to make the White House case against Iraq at a hearing Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He said he expected the standoff with Saddam Hussein's regime would be "reaching an endgame in a matter of weeks." (Full story)
* Senate Committee members praised Powell's U.N. presentation at Thursday's hearing, but Sen. Joseph Biden, the panel's leading Democrat, questioned why U.S. warplanes have not bombed a camp in northern Iraq run by a group U.S. officials say is linked to the al Qaeda terrorist network. Powell said in his Wednesday presentation the group was making ricin and other poisons there. Powell said he did not want to discuss possible military actions in an open session.
* Iraqi scientific adviser Gen. Amer al-Sa'adi dismissed the U.S. allegations Thursday and said Iraq would send a detailed letter to the Security Council to refute Powell's claims. (More Iraqi reaction)
* The 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, received deployment orders Thursday assigning it to the U.S. Central Command, which oversees operations in Iraq.
* Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was expected to sign orders Thursday alerting aircraft carriers USS Kitty Hawk and the USS Nimitz to be prepared to deploy to the Middle East on short notice. (Full story)
* In Ankara, the Turkish parliament agreed to allow the United States to upgrade some of its bases and ports. It is scheduled to vote February 18 on another measure that would allow U.S. troops to use the bases as a northern front in a possible war. (Full story)
* In a diplomatic move designed to put pressure on France, Germany and Belgium to commit to protecting fellow NATO member Turkey in the event of a U.S.-led war on Iraq, NATO Secretary General George Robertson set a Monday morning deadline for NATO's 19 allies to formally hand military planners a list of defensive tasks. (Full story)
* Chief U.N. weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday before heading to Baghdad this weekend. Blix and ElBaradei are due to report back to the Security Council on February 14. (Full story)
* Inspectors visited numerous sites in Iraq on Thursday, including the Ibn Haytham missile research center, which Powell mentioned in his speech as an example of Iraq's failure to cooperate with the inspections. (Full story)