Skip to main content
World
The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SERVICES
 
 
 
SEARCH
Web CNN.com
powered by Yahoo!
Iraq Banner

Blix says Iraq appears to be 'making an effort'

Blix, right, and ElBaradei will meet with Iraqi officials this weekend.
Blix, right, and ElBaradei will meet with Iraqi officials this weekend.

Story Tools

more video VIDEO
U.N. inspectors hold a private interview with an Iraqi scientist linked to previous banned weapons programs, CNN's Nic Robertson reports (February 6)
premium content
SPECIAL REPORT
• Interactive: Council on Iraq
• Latest: Iraq Tracker
• Explainer: Al Samoud
• Special Report: Showdown Iraq

VIENNA, Austria (CNN) -- Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix says he is seeing additional cooperation from Baghdad ahead of a weekend visit to Iraq.

Blix -- who heads the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission -- said: "I think it seems ... they are making an effort."

He made the comments as he headed into the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna on Friday.

On Thursday, U.N. weapons inspectors were allowed to interview an Iraqi scientist in private for the first time. Inspectors said "a number of issues were addressed" but no details were released. The interview lasted 3 hours and 32 minutes.

Blix and IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei, the chief nuclear weapons inspector, are travelling to Baghdad this weekend for a third visit with Iraqi officials in the past two months.

"We will want to see a lot more (cooperation) this weekend," Blix said.

Blix and El Baradei want three key issues involving the weapons inspections solved:

• Private interviews with Iraqi scientists by weapons inspectors.

• The use of U-2 spy planes.

• Iraq's enforcement of legislation prohibiting companies from making weapons of mass destruction.

Speaking later on Friday, Blix said Iraqi cooperation with the inspections regime is essential to the process -- and the quicker the better.

But, he said, the inspectors remained committed to "inspections as a viable path to disarmament."

"Without active cooperation from the Iraqi side, it is difficult to achieve an effective inspection," he said. "I don't say that it is impossible."

"We had eight years there (1991-1998) and a lot was achieved, but we would like to have a disarmament that is quicker than that," he added. "The world is not going to wait eight years.

"In the days and weeks that come, Mr. ElBaradei -- the head of the IAEA -- and I myself will do our best in order to maintain inspections as a viable path to disarmament," Blix said.

Blix called the inspections "the most intrusive ... in the world," but said it was a necessary intrusion.

"It is always somewhat unpleasant to be submitted to controls, whether it's the tax man or the controls when we go through airports," he said. "(But) we are not in Iraq to humiliate the Iraqis. We are there to perform effective inspections and to be correct and professional."

U.N. weapons inspectors visited at least four sites on Friday, including military facilities and pesticide warehouses, Iraqi officials said.

Among the sites was the al-Karama company in Baghdad, Iraq's Information Ministry said. U.N. officials have said al-Karama is associated with missile production. Inspectors have visited al-Karama facilities previously during the latest round of inspections.

Inspectors also visited the al-Wathba water project in Baghdad, Iraq said.

Two other sites visited were southeast of Baghdad: Pesticide warehouses in Suwaira and a group of military warehouses along a highway in Qut, the Information Ministry said.

--CNN Producer Ingrid Formanek contributed to this report


Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Iran poll to go to run-off
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards
 
 
 
 

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.