Having grudgingly accepted the UN resolution demanding unfettered access for inspectors, Iraq now has three weeks to produce a list of its chemical, biological, nuclear and long-range weapons programmes, the existence of which it continues to deny. An inaccurate statement, as well as subsequent non-compliance with inspectors, constitutes a ‘material breach’ of Iraq’s obligations, and Blix expressed the hope that President Saddam Hussein might change his position on the former: ‘Iraq has changed positions before’, he said. ‘The declaration is a very important document that we hope they take very seriously.’ His team’s first move will be to meet with Iraqi officials before searches begin on 27 November.
A dispute between rival factions of the Iraqi opposition has caused the postponement of a conference between them planned for this weekend in Brussels. The US State Department and the Pentagon were forced to mediate between the groups, who have very different views on the shape of Iraq post-Saddam Hussein.