Zebari’s comments, the tone of which reportedly surprised many diplomats, were subject to a strong, sharp rebuttal from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. ‘I think the UN has done as much as it can for Iraq,’ Annan said. ‘So quite honestly I do not think today is the time to hurl accusations.’ During the Security Council meeting Annan described the capture of Saddam as ‘an opportunity for a new beginning in the vital task of helping Iraqis to take control of their destiny’ (MEED 10:12:03).