Blix Says Iraqi Declaration Inconsistent

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Posted by Lilly from ? ( on Thursday, December 19, 2002 at 3:51PM :

I tend to believe the Iraqis over Bush et al.

Blix Says Iraqi Declaration Inconsistent
Chief U.N. Weapons Inspector Hans Blix Says Iraqi Weapons Declaration Contains 'Inconsistencies

The Associated Press

Iraq's weapons declaration contains "inconsistencies" and leaves many questions unanswered, chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix told the Security Council on Thursday.

At a closed council meeting, Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, provided initial assessments of the 12,000-page declaration.

In the biological area, the latest report did not include a table that Iraq submitted previously, according to a copy of Blix's remarks that was distributed after the meeting.

"This table has been omitted from the current declaration and the reasons for the omission need to be explained," Blix said.

ElBaradei said Iraq also needed to provide answers and evidence regarding Iraq's recent purchase of aluminum tubes. The top U.N. nuclear inspector also found little new in the 12,000-page declaration.

The Bush administration is denouncing gaps, omissions and other major troubles with the Iraqi weapons declaration, setting the United States on a course to possible war with Saddam Hussein early next year.

Speaking after the meeting, both Blix and ElBaradei complained about the quality of Iraq's report.

"An opportunity was missed in the declaration to give a lot of evidence," Blix said. "They can still provide it orally but it would have been better if it was in the declaration."

ElBaradei noted that the Iraqis have been opening doors for inspectors on the ground but said: "We have not gotten what we need in terms of additional evidence."

The comments were based on initial assessments and both men said they would need more time to review the entire declaration.

Both the American and British ambassadors to the United Nations said they were "deeply disappointed" with Iraq's declaration.

"It fails to address scores of questions pending since 1998, it seeks to deceive when it says Iraq has no ongoing weapons of mass destruction programs," U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said.

Negroponte said Iraq was in "material breach" of its obligations diplomatic language that could throw the United States into a war with Iraq. Britain, American's closest ally, appeared to agree with the U.S. view but British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw that gaps in the declaration are not grounds for war.

Iraq denies having weapons of mass destruction but the United States and Britain contend Iraq does have banned arms and have called the Iraqi declaration incomplete.

In Baghdad, Iraqi officials said it was the United States, and not Iraq, that needed to worry about the assessments.

"It's the other party that's worried because there's nothing to pin on us," Iraqi general Amir al-Saadi said. He said it was natural U.N. experts would see little new in the declaration because Iraq hasn't restarted weapons programs in the time since their last declarations.

-- Lilly
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