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Butler sends Ritter back to Iraq South News March 5 BAGHDAD: Controversial American weapons inspector Scott Ritter, accused by Iraq of spying and the centre of a crisis over arms inspections in January, arrived back in Iraq on Thursday. Chief weapons inspector Richard Butler ordered Scott Ritter and his team back into Iraq, said Allen Dacey, the inspectors' spokesman in Baghdad in an early test of Iraq's pledge to comply with the inspection regime. Ritter left Baghdad in January after Iraq blocked the work of his inspection team, saying it was dominated by Americans and Britons and showed ``flagrant evidence'' of imbalance. Amir al-Saadi, an adviser at Iraq's Presidential Office, said Iraq wanted UNSCOM to complete its inspections of all Iraqi sites in 1998, and accused UNSCOM chairman Richard Butler of being dishonest and biased. Al-Saadi said Butler, an Australian, lacked ``the diplomatic tact and leniency'' of Rolf Ekeus, his Swedish predecessor. ``He (Butler) has openly adopted a hostile stand towards Iraq. His press statements are hostile and provocative,'' al-Saadi said. His comments were carried by al-Zawra weekly issued by the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate. Asked if he wanted to see Butler out of office, al-Saadi said: ``I hope that will happen tomorrow because he is biased, dishonest and his statements and practices do not represent the United Nations.'' However He added that Iraq will cooperate with Butler. He said if Butler and his inspectors honored their part of the deal, the elimination of the country's long-range missiles and weapons of mass destruction could be completed by the end of this year, paving the way for the lifting of the sanctions. Iraq has accused Ritter, a U.S. marine officer during the 1991 Gulf War, of spying, and Iraqi officials have repeatedly denounced him. Ritter's visit comes just 10 days after U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan clinched an accord with Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz to defuse a crisis over access for the UNSCOM inspectors to eight so-called presidential sites. U.S. forces have been kept in the Gulf and U.S. officials say that a U.N. resolution warning Iraq of ``severest consequences'' if it blocks the inspectors has given the United States a green light for punitive military strikes. But council members Russia, France and China, insist the resolution does not authorize military action. Ritter has frequently been at the center of rows between Iraq and UNSCOM, particularly since the inspectors stepped up visits since 1996 to sites which Iraq considers sensitive to its national sovereignty and security. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html