Monday, February 03, 2003

Blix rejects US interpretation of Inspections report
"Chief UN arms inspector Hans Blix has challenged a series of accusations Washington has lobbed at Iraq, saying inspection teams had found nothing to back them up. Blix said that the progress report he delivered to the UN Security Council on Monday -- in which he determined that Iraq was defying international demands to disarm -- did not justify going to war. Blix also said he had not seen any hard evidence to suggest that the Iraqi regime was linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, as Bush charged in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. Blix denied that inspectors had found Baghdad was concealing and moving outlawed materials to avoid inspections, as Colin Powell had said, or that Iraqi secret agents were posing as scientists, as Bush had charged.

“I think it would be terrible if this comes to an end by armed force, and I wish for this process of disarmament through the peaceful avenue of inspections," he added. Blix said his report on arms discoveries in Iraq should not be used to support a war against that country. "

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