BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan signed a deal with a top Iraqi official Monday to try to end the impasse over U.N. weapons inspections and prevent a U.S. military strike against Iraq.

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz signed on behalf of the Iraqi government in the brief ceremony at the Foreign Ministry, an Iraqi government source told The Associated Press. The government limited coverage of the signing only to U.N. officials and Iraqi government reporters.