United States was ‘dubious’ from the start: Blix
By Chris Bunting
LONDON: Hans Blix, the chief United Nations weapons inspector, said on Thursday he was “disappointed” at the decision to go to war before his teams had completed their work.
Mr Blix told BBC Radio 4’s Today that he was not sure Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and said UN inspectors had been getting more co-operation from the Iraqis before the US and Britain pulled the plug on their efforts. He did not believe the Security Council had intended the inspection process, initiated by resolution 1441 in November, to last less than four months.
Mr Blix, talking to reporters shortly before the first missiles struck Baghdad on Thursday morning, said he was “curious” whether the Allies would find evidence of weapons of mass destruction after the war.
Intelligence given by the US to his team during their inspections had been largely discredited, he said. “We have never maintained or asserted that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, whether anthrax or nerve gas. What we have said is that their reporting on it demonstrated great lacunae in the accounting.
“But having something unaccounted for is not the same thing as saying it does exist ... If they don’t have it, then it is very difficult for them to give the evidence. When the Americans go in, they will be able to ask people who will no longer be in fear and if the Iraqis have something, they will probably be led to it.
“I am very curious to see if they find something. The paradox is, if they don’t find something, then you have sent in 250,000 men to wage war in order to find nothing.”
Asked how he felt about having to withdraw his inspection teams, Mr Blix said: “It is clearly a disappointment. We began about three-and-a-half months ago and I think we made a very rapid start.” —Independent