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UN Weapons Inspector Outlines Plan By Nicole Winfield Associated Press Writer Friday, April 7, 2000; 2:52 a.m. EDT UNITED NATIONS -- The new chief U.N. weapons inspector for Iraq has outlined an organization plan for his new agency that stresses arms experts will work only for the United Nations and not for any country's government. That distinction was a clear sign Hans Blix doesn't want his organization to be hit by the same allegations of spying on behalf of the United States that crippled its predecessor, the U.N. Special Commission. Inspectors at the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission will be picked from a broad spectrum of U.N. member countries and be paid out of the U.N. budget - not volunteered by, or under orders from, member governments, Blix wrote in his first report since becoming executive chairman of UNMOVIC on March 1. "They shall neither seek nor receive instructions from any government and ... member states shall not seek to influence them in the discharge of their responsibilities," the report said. Notably, Blix's report indicated he has decided against having a deputy - a position that traditionally went to the United States in UNMOVIC's predecessor organization. Blix further stressed that intelligence gathered by inspectors must remain with the agency and be used only for its key disarmament work. Blix's agency was created in December to replace UNSCOM, which had been working with the International Atomic Energy Agency since 1991 to oversee the destruction of Iraq's biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and missile programs. Weapons inspectors from both agencies left Iraq in December 1998 ahead of U.S. and British airstrikes, launched to punish Iraq for failing to cooperate with the inspectors. Top Iraqi officials have said Baghdad would not accept new U.N. weapons inspectors, but others have hinted at compromise. Blix acknowledged that Baghdad had so far rejected new U.N. calls for inspections. He said the organization need only hire a core staff now, with the remainder to be added later. In outlining the agency's mission, Blix said UNMOVIC must make inspections including "no-notice" searches that often led to drawn-out confrontations between UNSCOM inspectors and Iraqi officials. Blix added that the new agency also must be able to take aerial photographs. The United States traditionally provided UNSCOM with U2 planes to conduct aerial surveillance. © Copyright 2000 The Associated Press -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi