The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] Iraq Welcomes Inspectors; Blix Vows No Spies

Iraq Welcomes Inspectors; Blix Vows No Spies

November 16, 2002 08:17 PM ET

By Hassan Hafidh and Joelle Diderich

BAGHDAD/PARIS (Reuters) - Iraq said on Saturday U.N. inspections would
disprove accusations that it possessed weapons of mass destruction, and the chief
inspector charged with the search vowed he would not tolerate spies on his team.

The U.S. government has begun monitoring Iraqis living in the United States,
hoping to uncover potential terrorist threats in the event that war breaks out
with Iraq, Bush administration and congressional sources told Reuters.

Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz said Baghdad welcomed chief U.N.
weapons inspector Hans Blix and that the results of the inspections would expose
as lies the U.S. charges that Iraq maintained weapons of mass destruction.

"We are going to expose the truth. The Americans are worried because the
truth is going to be exposed and their lies are going to be exposed," Aziz told
reporters in Baghdad in one of the first personal statements by the Iraqi
leadership since President Saddam Hussein agreed on Wednesday to new inspections.

His remarks echoed an earlier message from Saddam to the Iraqi parliament
saying U.N. inspections would prove Iraq was devoid of weapons of mass destruction
and allow it to work on ending 12-year-old U.N. sanctions crippling his country.

Iraq's decision to allow the return of the arms inspectors after a four-year
absence gives it a chance to dispose of the alleged weapons of mass destruction,
prove they do not exist or face possible U.S. military action.

"The Americans are always suspicious because they have goals when they speak
about weapons of mass destruction. They want an excuse to launch aggression," Aziz


Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the Vienna-based International Atomic
Energy Agency, are scheduled to arrive in Baghdad on Monday to begin the
investigation, with inspections set to start on Nov. 27.

Blix said on Saturday he could not rule out there might be spies in his team
due to resume work in Iraq, but any intelligence agents would be ordered off the

In Paris on his way to Cyprus and Baghdad, Blix said it was important that
the team avoid the charges of bias that undermined the work of the last inspectors
who worked in Iraq between 1992 and 1998.

He warned Iraqi authorities that any delay in allowing inspectors access to
sites would be very serious, but did not say whether it would violate U.N.
resolution 1441.

Iraq has accused some previous U.N. arms inspectors of being spies working
for the United States, but Blix said he could not be sure that the team of
inspectors, due to resume work in Iraq on Nov. 27, would be free of undercover

He stressed that the group was made up of 45 different nationalities in an
effort to ensure it remained impartial.

"People have asked me: 'Can you be absolutely sure we will have no spies in
any of the member states?' and I said no, I don't think either the KGB or the CIA
can give that absolute assurance," Blix told a news conference.

"All I can say is that if I see someone having two hats, then I would ask
them to walk out," he added.

Blix said he expected to have 100 inspectors in Iraq by the end of the year.
He acknowledged that charges of spying had undermined the work of the previous
U.N. inspection regime.

Aziz is likely to meet Blix and ElBaradei in Baghdad next week. Iraqi Foreign
Minister Naji Sabri and Saddam's adviser, Amir al-Saadi, are also expected to meet


In Washington, President Bush had tough words for Saddam, while sources
detailed an intelligence operation in which U.S. authorities are tracking hundreds
and possibly thousands of Iraqi citizens who work and study in the United States
and who may be sympathizers of the Iraqi president.

If Bush takes military action against Iraq, the intelligence operation could
be expanded -- through closer monitoring and possible detentions --with the goal
of thwarting terrorist attacks against Americans, sources said.

Bush expressed skepticism that Iraq would adhere to the U.N. resolution
granting inspectors unfettered access to sites across Iraq.

"America and the world are now watching Saddam Hussein closely. Any act of
defiance or delay will indicate that he is taking the path of deception once
again, and this time the consequences would be severe," Bush said in a radio

Underlining the severity of the consequences, one of the nations which fought
hard to give Iraq a chance to avoid attack, agreed that the U.N. resolution which
Baghdad has accepted would allow use of force if there is a whiff of obstruction.

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov acknowledged that force could be used
against Iraq if it failed to abide by the new U.N. resolution, but stressed that
only the world body could decide when that time might be.

"Resolution 1441 ... allows for the full use of force, in the sense that you
can use force if the resolution is violated. So, theoretically that (force) is an
option," he said in an interview on state Rossiya television.

Iraq, under Security Council resolution 1441 adopted on Nov. 8, has to give a
"full, accurate and complete" declaration of all its programs and material that
can be used to develop chemical, biological and nuclear arms, and ballistic
missiles. The declaration is due on Dec. 8.

Iraq has said repeatedly it has no weapons of mass destruction. But Blix said
Iraq often had changed its position in the past and now had time to examine
archives, stores and stocks to determine whether there is something there.

 Maktoob introduces free Internet, Call now 077- 0303 from Cairo or 0908-0303 from outside Cairo

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]