Blix: Iraq starts to comply
The chief U.N. weapons inspector said Wednesday that Iraq was showing signs of complying with its obligations to disarm and was cooperating with inspectors in some areas.
Hans Blix said Iraq's destruction of Al Samoud 2 missiles was "real disarmament." "Here weapons that can be used in war are being destroyed in fairly large quantities."
He also said seven Iraqi scientists have submitted to private interviews under his terms. Blix added that he has asked an Arab country, which he did not identify, to host inspectors and potential Iraqi scientists who agree to be interviewed outside Iraq.
He said Cyprus was also a possible location for conducting interviews and that several countries had offered asylum for any scientists who want to leave Iraq.
But the chief inspector said some of his weapons experts were skeptical of Iraq's claim that the inspectors could verify Baghdad's claims to have dumped its biological materials more than a decade ago by digging in areas where the Iraqis say the poisons were poured into the ground.
Blix couldn't say whether he thought inspections would continue through the summer, given the massive U.S. troop build-up in the region and the talk of war.
"We don't know what's going to happen," he said, adding that his teams have an evacuation plan should they need to leave Baghdad on short notice. (Albawaba.com)
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