Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said Thursday the chances of discovering whether Iraq destroyed or concealed all illegal weapons are much better now because of "the new environment in Iraq."
Blix appeared before the U.N. Security Council to present his final report on the search for chemical and biological weapons, with his inspection teams barred from returning to Iraq by the United States.
"I trust that in the new environment in Iraq, in which there is full access and cooperation, and in which knowledgeable witnesses should no longer be inhibited to reveal what they know, it should be possible to establish the truth we all want to know," Blix said, according to AP.
Speaking to reporters later, he said any inspectors working "under an occupation of a few foreign states cannot have the same credibility internationally as international inspectors would." Blix warned that "it is not justified to jump to the conclusion" that Iraq possesses nuclear, chemical or biological weapons just because there is a long list of outstanding questions about its weapons programs.
Blix made clear his inspectors were ready to resume work, to confirm any findings since their departure just before the war began in March and to continue monitoring Iraq's weapons programs. (Albawaba.com)
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