Foreign reporters got a controlled peek behind the walls of about a dozen of the palaces of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on Friday. Iraq says the United Nations will never get access.
American-backed UN economic sanctions on Iraq, put in place after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, are being maintained because of suspicions that Baghdad is using the palaces to hide weapons.
Washington has been trying to convince the UN Security Council to condem Iraq for its refusal to let in inspectors.
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz has accused Richard Butler, the chief UN arms inspector, of making "unobjective and inaccurate" statements about the roughly 40 palaces. And on Saturday, Iraq accused the US of laying the groundwork for a military strike.
The US Defense Department has denied having plans to launch attacks.