Blix complains of holes in Iraqi declaration

20 December 2002

Head of the UN weapons inspections team in Iraq Hans Blix on 19 December joined the US and Britain in criticising Baghdad's weapons declaration, agreeing that it contained little new information and failed to explain the whereabouts of certain chemical and biological material. Speaking to the UN Security Council and afterwards to reporters, Blix said that Iraq could have produced three times as much anthrax as has been accounted for, while the US has spoken of bacterial growth media and mustard-gas-filled artillery shells of which there is no record in the dossier. On 19 December, the White House declared Iraq to be in 'material breach' of UN Resolution 1441. Blix and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohammed el-Baradei, said that while Iraq had co-operated with the process of inspections, it had much to do to comply with the substance of UN demands.

However, Blix also complained about the American and British failure to provide the UN with intelligence concerning Iraq's banned weapons in an interview with the BBC on 20 December. London and Washington have both attacked Iraq's declaration on the basis that they have intelligence to prove it inaccurate. Blix said that he was not being provided with as much help as he would like, and that if he was told of these alleged weapons sites, he could send inspectors to check them.

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