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[casi] Blix: Saddam Hussein told the truth

Blix: Saddam Hussein told the truth

Tuesday 09 September 2003, 12:30 Makka Time, 9:30 GMT

Iraq may have been candid with the international
community when it told the UN Security Council that it
did not have chemical, biological or nuclear weapons,
former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix said.

More than four months after US President George Bush
declared victory in Iraq, Blix said facts presented by
Iraq in a 12,000-page document in December 2002 may
have been accurate.

"With this long period, I'm inclined to think that the
Iraqi statement that they destroyed all the biological
and chemical weapons, which they had in the summer of
1991 may well be the truth," Blix told CNN television.

No smoking gun

The retired Swedish diplomat, who headed the United
Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection
Commission for Iraq, said his inspectors had worked in
Iraq for three-and-a-half months in late 2002 and
early 2003 and "did not find any smoking gun."

Blix said US and British experts had been scouring
Iraq for weapons of mass destruction for several
months and had the opportunity to interrogate members
of the Iraqi establishment in their custody.

"I cannot fail to notice that some of the things that
they expected us to see that they have turned out not
to be real weapons of mass destruction," said the
former chief inspector.

The declaration, submitted on 7 December by the
government of then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, was
quickly dismissed as false and incomplete by the
United States and Britain, which accused Baghdad of
failing to disarm as required by Security Council
Resolution 1441.

These charges were later used by Washington and London
to justify their invasion of Iraq in late March.


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