Global Policy Forum

Weapons Inspection Program

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Because the UN Security Council refused to endorse the US-UK invasion and occupation of Iraq in March 2003, Washington and London hoped to ignore the UN and operate with a free hand in the country. But a fierce Iraqi resistance, persistent economic and political problems, and continuing international criticism forced the US-UK to seek international partners for their enterprise, including assistance from the UN. A debate ensured between those who thought that the UN could be the wedge for internationalization and US-UK withdrawal and those who thought a UN presence would only discredit the world body.

Following the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1483 two months after the war, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed a Special Representative for Iraq and the UN assumed some small responsibilities there. Many critics warned, though, that the UN should not be identified with the illegal war and occupation. In August 2003, a massive bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad confirmed the critics' fears, killing fifteen UN staff including the Special Representative. The UN then pulled out of Iraq and kept its distance, but in February 2004, under heavy US pressure, the UN agreed to send a mission to the country, to help construct a new interim government. Again, Washington kept the UN's political role weak, while seeking UN legitimation. After the establishment of an interim government in June, the US pressured the UN to take a larger role in planning national elections, but security dangers and reluctance by the Secretary General and UN staff kept the UN role to a minimum. Only if the US occupation ends, does a substantial UN role now appear likely.


Articles and Documents

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Don't Kick the Inspectors Out of the UN (June 29, 2007)

Decrying the impending closure of UNMOVIC – the UN's Iraq weapons inspection commission – Richard Butler calls on the UN to create a similar, but permanent, entity with a general focus on the global proliferation of dangerous arms. Such a unit could maintain and develop UNMOVIC's technical expertise in monitoring and analyzing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Further, in light of British and US fabrications about Iraq's nuclear capabilities, Butler argues that an internationally-backed body could more objectively assess and act upon any potential security threats in the future. (New York Times)

Told You So, UN Iraq Arms Inspectors' Report Says (June 28, 2007)

The United States and Britain launched their pre-emptive strike in 2003 based on flawed intelligence about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In a veiled attack against Washington and London, the final UNMOVIC report asserts that "in-country verification, especially on-site inspections, generate more timely and accurate information than other outside sources such as national assessments." The Iraq arms inspection team, which never found any evidence of WMDs, will end its mandate at the behest of the US and the UK. (Reuters)

UN Weapons Inspection Team for Iraq, UNMOVIC, Nears its End (June 18, 2007)

The US and UK propose that the UN Security Council end the mandate of UNMOVIC. Maintaining the operation costs US$10 million in Iraqi oil revenues. The defunct Iraq weapons inspection team supervised the destruction of Iraqi rocket components after the 1991 Gulf War and insisted that Iraq did not retain any illegal weapons prior to the 2003 invasion. (International Herald Tribune)


CIA's Final Report: No WMD Found in Iraq

Charles Duelfer, the CIA's top weapons inspector in Iraq, has finally concluded the fruitless search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In an addendum to his last report released in 2004, he wrote that "as matters now stand, the WMD investigation has gone as far as feasible." He also called for the release of prisoners held because of their knowledge about Iraq's weapons, though he did not specify the number of such detainees in US custody. (Associated Press)

Arms Equipment Plundered in 2003 Is Surfacing in Iraq (April 17, 2005)

The equipment plundered from weapons plants in Iraq in the chaos following the invasion is now turning up at border stations and street markets. Iraqi border guards have discovered valuable machinery used for producing weapons in trucks hauling "scrap metal" to Iran. Security analyst John Pike doesn't find this reassuring: "this is just the stuff that got caught," he said, adding that "the more interesting stuff would have gone out first." (New York Times)

Panel: US Ignored Work of UN Arms Inspectors (April 3, 2005)

A report commissioned by US President George W. Bush found that by the time Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, "every piece of fresh evidence" of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction "had been tested -- and disproved -- by UN inspectors." (Washington Post)

Looting at Weapons Plants Was Systematic, Iraqi Says (March 13, 2005)

In the Iraqi government's first extensive comments on the looting of weapons plants in the aftermath of the US invasion, Deputy Minister of Industry Sami al-Araji described "a highly organized operation" that carted away machinery from some 90 important military sites in the country. The Bush administration cited these facilities as one of the justifications for invading Iraq, but failed to secure the equipment from looters after the war. (New York Times)


Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and Iraq (October 2004)

This report provides evidence that the US supplied Iraq with material for its chemical weapons program in the 1980's when it supported Iraq in the war against Iran. The White House has confirmed that it licensed the export of anthrax to "established scientific research institutes" but this report questions such claims and argues that the US justified the war in Iraq on evidence of materials Washington itself provided. (University of Sussex, School of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies)

Bye-Bye, ElBaradei (November 8, 2004)

Ever since Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei announced to the UN Security Council in March 2003 that he found "no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapon program in Iraq," Bush administration officials have wanted to deny him a second term as director. Because ElBaradei refused to give Washington a mandate to invade Iraq, US Undersecretary of State John Bolton will likely prevent his reelection. (

Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq (October 25, 2004)

Approximately 350 tons of explosives have disappeared from a former military facility in Iraq. Before the war on Iraq, the International Atomic Energy Agency had carefully observed stockpiles of the dual use explosives, which can be used to demolish buildings but also produce warheads for missiles and to detonate nuclear weaponry. (New York Times)

US 'Almost All Wrong' on Weapons (October 7, 2004)

In his report on Iraq's weapons program, Chief US weapons inspector in Iraq Charles A. Duelfer concludes that Saddam Hussein's ability to produce nuclear weapons had "progressively decayed" since 1991 and that there was no evidence of "concerted efforts to restart the program." The same conclusions apply to programs for chemical and biological weapons. The report thus contradicts the coalition's justifications to invade Iraq. (Washington Post)

Iraq Arms Inspector Says Search Is a Tangle (March 31, 2004)

After months of fruitless searching, Chief US weapons inspector Charles Duelfer, successor to former Chief David Kay, reported that his team intends to determine whether Saddam Hussein "intended" to develop WMD. Is this desperate hope the White House's last-ditch effort at maintaining its rationale for war? (New York Times)

David Kay Leaving Empty Handed (January 1, 2004)

The US weapons inspector in Iraq is stepping down citing "the duration of the inspections as one of his reasons for leaving." Yellow Times argues that David Kay's resignation may be out of frustration at the inability to locate weapons of mass destruction, and the US government's wish to end all arguments concerning WMDs as justification for war.


UNMOVIC Continues Review of Iraqi Weapons File (December 10, 2003)

The UNMOVIC inspection mission in Iraq tried to determine if Saddam Hussein's regime developed weapons of mass destruction, but the US invasion in March 2003 sidelined its efforts. UNMOVIC continues to catalogue Iraq's biological and missile programs awaiting word from the UN Security Council regarding its future role. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

UNSC Queries US, British Results on WMD in Iraq (December 10, 2003)

The US and Britain refuse to give UN weapons inspectors the results of their search for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Washington says they may share this information "at an appropriate time." (Reuters)

And the Winner Is….. (July 11, 2003)

Joseph Cirincione argues that an intrusive UN inspections approach with ample time and resources could have effectively prevented significant new Iraqi efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

Agency Disputes CIA View of Trailers as Iraqi Weapons Labs (June 25, 2003)

The intelligence division of the US State Department disputes claims by the CIA that mysterious trailers found in Iraq were for making biological weapons. (New York Times)

Blix Downgrades Prewar Assessment of Iraqi Weapons (June 22, 2003)

Hans Blix, UN Chief Weapons Inspector, suspects that the Iraqi government possessed little more than "debris" from a former, secret weapons program before the US-led invasion. The US inability to find weapons of mass destruction after the fall of the Hussein regime has led Blix to downgrade his original assessment of the threat Iraq posed. (Washington Post)

Iraqi Mobile Labs Nothing to do with Germ Warfare, Report Finds (June 15, 2003)

Two trailers found in northern Iraq are not mobile germ labs as purported by US and UK government officials. These findings are a major embarrassment for Prime Minster Tony Blair, who continually insisted that the labs prove Iraqi ownership of weapons of mass destruction. (Observer)

Blix: I Was Smeared by the Pentagon (June 11, 2003)

On the eve of retirement, UN Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix has made sharp criticisms of Washington. He referred to "bastards" in the Bush administration who consistently undermined his efforts to find Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and "leaned on" his staff to tailor their reports. (Guardian)

UN Weapons Search in Iraq was Fruitless, Blix Says (June 3, 2003)

In a report to the Security Council Chief Inspector, Hans Blix, stated that before leaving on the eve of the US-UK led invasion, he had found no evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. (Associated Press)

Iraq Arms Hunt Sows Cynicism (June 3, 2003)

In the UK, a growing furor over the reasons for invading Iraq threatens to undermine the credibility of the US-British coalition and risks shattering the worldwide truce between governments who supported and opposed the war. (Christian Science Monitor)

Panel to Probe US Claims of Banned Arms (June 2, 2003)

Senator John W. Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, states that his panel will investigate the US failure to find evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. (Los Angeles Times)

US, in Assessment, Terms Trailers Germ Laboratories (May 29, 2003)

In collaboration with the Defense Intelligence Agency, CIA has posted a six-page assessment on mobile biological trailers in Iraq. The report reveals new details about the two mobile trailers discovered in Iraq but it does not offer any solid evidence of WMDs. (New York Times)

Rumsfeld Concedes Banned Iraqi Weapons May Not Exist (May 29, 2003)

After weeks of fruitless searching, the Bush administration has come close to conceding that Iraq may not have had any biological or chemical weapons. Admitting this raises questions about the justification for the war. Some are calling it "the greatest intelligence hoax of all time."(Independent)

The Case for War Is Blown Apart (May 29, 2003)

US Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, came out with ‘breathtaking' statements that Iraqi weapons may have been destroyed before the war. This has put British Prime Minister Tony Blair under harsh attacks from members of Parliament for misleading them and the British people over Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. (Independent)

WMD: Will the Real Culprit Stand Up (May 29, 2003)

There is a growing unease within Congress about the validity of pre-war intelligence reports regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the link between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaida. Jane Harman, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee stated that "this could conceivably be the greatest intelligence hoax of all time." (Inter Press Service)

Intra-Times Battle Over Iraqi Weapons (May 26, 2003)

New York Times reporter Judith Miller has presented several dubious reports on findings of weapons of mass destruction. According to an internal e-mail, the facts were mainly based on information obtained from the controversial Iraqi exile, Ahmad Chalabi. (Washington Post)

Iraq's Free Fall (May 23, 2003)

Imad Khadduri, a former Iraqi scientist comments on the US and UK promise to uncover Iraq's hidden weapons of mass destruction. So far they have failed and the US "threadbare credibility on Iraq's WMDs is stretched to the limit." The desperate search method includes rewards for information on Iraq's WMDs. (Yellow Times)

Prewar Views of Iraq Threat Are under Review by CIA (May 22, 2003)

The Central Intelligence Agency has started a review of pre-war reports on Iraqi's weapons of mass destruction to see how they compare to post-war reality. (New York Times)

Coalition Offers Iraqis Cash For Information on Banned Weapons (May 21, 2003)

The US has yet to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In another desperate measure, the US and UK have urged Iraqis to come forward with information on weapons of mass destruction, offering rewards of up to $200,000. (Agence France-Presse)

US May Open Door to UN Inspectors (May 20, 2003)

In a move to get Security Council support to lift the sanctions on Iraq and appease the UK, the US indicated that it might be willing to accept a future role for UN weapons inspectors in Iraq. (Times, London)

ElBaradei Warns of Iraq Nuclear Emergency (May 19, 2003)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei warned about looting at nuclear sites in Iraq. ElBaradei also requested that the US let his inspectors back. (Reuters)

So, Mr Straw, Why Did We Go to War? (May 15, 2003)

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw states that finding weapons of mass destructions are "not crucially important." This contradicts previous statements and it makes people wonder about the motives for a war in Iraq. (Independent)

Bush Officials Change Tune on Iraqi Weapons (May 14, 2003)

Before the war in Iraq, President George W. Bush stated that "intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.'' So far no WMD's have been found and Washington has changed its rhetoric, instead hoping to find documentary evidence of the weapons. (Reuters)

Selective Intelligence (May 12, 2003)

A small cluster of policy advisers in the Pentagon influenced US policy and the direction of public opinion in the war on Iraq, especially about the existence of weapons of mass destruction. The group, conceived by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, call themselves the Cabal and has brought a crucial change of direction to the US intelligence community. (New Yorker)

Criticism Grows at US Failure to Find Iraqi Weapons (May 12, 2003)

US have not found any weapons of mass destruction and questions are raised about the justification for a war on Iraq. If no WMD's are found, the world is going to be "even more suspicious of US intentions in the future." (Reuters)

Rivals Turn on Each Other as Weapons Search Draws a Blank (May 11, 2003)

US intelligence agencies are avoiding the blame for not finding weapons of mass destruction. Each setback in the search for weapons of mass destruction increases political pressure on the US. The existence of WMDs was cited as justification for war, so "finding nothing is unthinkable." (Observer)

Missing in Action: Truth (May 6, 2003)

Nicholas D. Kristof received an email from a US official about weapons of mass destruction that also reflects Washington's stand on finding WMDs; "who cares if we never find weapons of mass destruction, because we've liberated the Iraqi people from a murderous tyrant." (New York Times)

Inspectors Hail Arrest of Iraq's Mrs Anthrax (May 6, 2003)

US forces have captured Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, a senior Iraqi biological weapons scientist that might have information on the alleged weapons of mass destruction. Washington has also began to argue that even if stocks have been destroyed, "Iraq still had the know-how to restart manufacturing at a short notice." (Independent)

UN Agency Wants to Investigate Iraq Nuclear Looting (May 5, 2003)

The International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei has written to the US with a request to send a mission to Iraq to investigate what happened to the country's nuclear facilities. (Reuters)

Dual-Use Material and the Weapons Search in Iraq (May 2, 2003)

According to Alistair Millar, the Bush administration is now unwittingly echoing the pre-war stance of UN weapons inspectors: some of the ingredients to develop chemical and biological agents may exist in Iraq, but there is no sign of deliverable weapons of mass destruction. (Middle East Report Online)

Iraq's Other Disarmament Challenge: Small Arms (May 2, 2003)

The presence of stockpiles of guns, bullets, bombs, and other small arms presents a different kind of disarmament challenge to US forces occupying Iraq. In Baghdad alone, US troops have removed 2.6 million small-arms rounds, over 13,000 grenades, and nearly 19,000 mines. (Christian Science Monitor)

Now They Tell Us (May 1, 2003)

US officials states that it can take time to find weapons of mass destructions. So far nothing has been found, not even at sites that the Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed during the UN Security Council briefing in February. (Nation)

Vilified Weapons Inspectors May Have Got It Right (May 1, 2003)

US National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, acknowledged that it is difficult to prove Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and it is possible that no actual weapons will ever be found. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Britain Skeptical About Iraq UN Inspectors (April 24, 2003)

UK's defense Secretary Geoff Hoon is doubtful that UN weapon inspectors should return to Iraq for independent verification of any weapons of mass destruction. An alternative objective source could be a country that is not part of the war coalition. (Middle East Online)

Where Have All the WMD-Hunters Gone? (April 23, 2003)

David Corn of the Nation wonders why there is not a massive search-and-secure operation scouring Iraq to search for weapons of mass destruction, since this was supposedly the reason for the US-led invasion.

Hans Blix Vs the US: I Was Undermined (April 23, 2003)

Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix accuses the Bush administration of lacking credibility in its hunt for weapons of mass destruction. Blix states that only the UN inspectors can provide an objective assessment of the material found. (Independent)

The NYT and WMD (April 22, 2003)

Judith Miller of the New York Times published an article on information provided by an Iraqi scientist about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. She claimed it was the most important discovery in the war, but there was no independent confirmation of the information or name of the scientist. (Counterpunch)

Briefing the Security Council on UNMOVIC's Readiness to Resume Operations (April 22, 2003)

This is the transcript of chief weapons inspector Hans Blix's briefing to the UN Security Council on UNMOVIC's work program in Iraq.

Blix: Intelligence Used to Justify Iraq War Disturbing (April 22, 2003)

Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix stated that US officials tried to discredit the UN weapons inspectors to win Security Council support for war on Iraq. (Middle East Online)

Fake Documents and Exaggeration (April 20, 2003)

This article in the Independent refutes claims by Washington on possible nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in Iraq.

Missing Arms Cast Doubt on War (April 16, 2003)

In this article by former weapon inspector Scott Ritter, he states there have not been any attacks of chemical weapons in the war against Iraq and the coalition has not found massive stockpiles of prohibited weapons. (Newsday)

UN Inspectors Get Silent Treatment (April 16, 2003)

The International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei plans to return to Iraq and states that IAEA is the only organization that has the right to verify NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) compliance. (Reuters)

Inspections Required to End Sanctions (April 12, 2003)

Many members of the Security Council want UNMOVIC to resume inspections in Iraq, either to confirm the claim that Washington was wrong in launching the war, or to allow the lifting of the sanctions. (Boston Globe)

Interview With Hans Blix (April 9, 2003)

In an interview for the Spanish newspaper El Pais, the UN's chief weapon inspector Hans Blix answers questions regarding Iraq's cooperation and US pressure on the inspectors to discover evidence of weapons of mass destruction.

Elbaradei: It is Not US Duty to Monitor Iraqi Disarmament (April 1, 2003)

Washington supports the creation of substitute organizations for UNMOVIC and IAEA. The head of IAEA, Dr. Mohamed Elbaradei, states that his organization is the sole body with legal authority to verify Iraq's nuclear disarmament. (Middle East Online)

Shades of Grey (March 28, 2003)

In this interview, chief weapons inspector Hans Blix expressed his disappointment with the early withdrawal of the inspectors and stated that their work "irritated" Washington as it sought a UN resolution legitimizing a war on Iraq. (Guardian)

Chemical, Biological Weapons Still Haven't Been Seen in Iraq (March 28, 2003)

The US has claimed that an important cause for war on Iraq is to get rid of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, but after seven days of fighting the military has not found any biological or chemical weapons. (Wall Street Journal)

Elbaradei Calls for UN to Compromise (March 14, 2003)

Mohammed Elbaradei, the chief UN nuclear inspector, urged the Security Council to compromise on disarmament conditions for Iraq. He called for staggered deadlines and no ultimatum for war. (Associated Press)

Inspectors Disprove US Accusations (March 10, 2003)

The March 7 report by UN weapon inspectors Hans Blix and Mohammed ElBaradei to the Security Council demonstrated that several of the US accusations regarding Iraq's weapons program were false. (ZNet)

Some Evidence on Iraq Called Fake (March 8, 2003)

Documents showing that Iraq has tried to purchase uranium in Africa are "not authentic" according to UN officials and independent experts. Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has questioned US and British claims about Iraq's secret nuclear ambitions. (Washington Post)

What Blix Really Thinks of US Policy Over Iraq (March 6, 2003)

In an interview with deputies from the European Parliament, chief weapons inspector Hans Blix confirms he would welcome more time for the inspectors to complete their mission. (European Voice)

Iraq Says It's Destroying More Missiles (March 3, 2003)

Weapons inspectors supervised the destruction of Al Samoud 2 missiles by Iraq. The government of Iraq also plans to hand over a report about its unilateral destruction of anthrax and VX nerve agent. (Associated Press)

UN Finds No Long-Range Iraqi Missiles (February 27, 2003)

While the short-range Al Samoud 2 missiles discovered by UN inspectors can fly a few miles further than allowed by UN resolutions, the inspectors have reported no sign of any longer-range missiles that could strike Israel or neighboring nations. (Associated Press)

Experts Say Iraq Doing Best to Disarm (February 27, 2003)

According to South African disarmament experts, Iraq is fully cooperating and the inspectors should be given more time before the UN Security Council authorizes war. (Associated Press)

Blix: UN inspectors Need Few More Months in Iraq (February 26, 2003)

Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix stated "even if Iraq immediately, actively and unconditionally cooperates" the inspection team must be given a few more months to complete their work. (Middle East Online)

France Presses Iraq on Missiles, US on Leadership (February 24, 2003)

France demands that Iraq destroy its al-Samoud missiles and warns the US about imposing its will on the rest of the world. (AlertNet)

Russia Condemns Washington for Piling Pressure on Inspectors (February 21, 2003)

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov expressed his concern regarding US pressure on the weapon inspectors to produce information to be used as a pretext for attack on Iraq. (Independent)

Blix to Demand Iraqi Missiles Destroyed (February 21, 2003)

Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix demands the destruction of Baghdad's Al Samoud 2 missiles and the machinery to produce missile motors. (Associated Press)

Inspectors Call US Tips 'Garbage' (February 20, 2003)

UN weapons inspectors are complaining about information received from US intelligence because it leads the inspectors to "one dead end after another." (CBS News)

John Bolton in Jerusalem: The New Age of Disarmament Wars (February 20, 2003)

According to this article by Ian Williams, John Bolton, the US Under Secretary of State for Disarmament Affairs and International Security, has spent much of his career arguing that the US should ignore any UN resolutions that do not serve its purposes. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Statement by Mohamed Elbaradei to the UN Security Council (February 14, 2003)

Full transcript from the IAEA Director General Mohamed Elbaradei's report to the UN Security Council on Iraq's weapons program.

Statement by Hans Blix to the UN Security Council (February 14, 2003)

Full transcript from the chief UN weapons inspector Dr. Hans Blix's report to the UN Security Council on Iraq's weapons program.

Blix and ElBaradei vs. Powell (February 14, 2003)

Glen Rangwala reviews the evidence presented by Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei in their report to the Security Council on February 14, 2003. He contrasts their reports to the claims made by Colin Powell to the Security Council and those of Tony Blair in a British intelligence dossier.

South Africa to Assist in Iraqi Disarmament: Mbeki (February 14, 2003)

South Africa has offered to assist Iraq with weapon inspections by sharing their experience with UN disarmament in order to avoid a possible war. (Agence France Presse)

Iraq Bans Weapons of Mass Destruction (February 14, 2003)

A presidential decree issued by Saddam Hussein banned all weapons of mass destruction from Iraq, meeting a longtime demand of UN arms inspectors. (Associated Press)

CIA "Sabotaged Inspections and Hid Weapons Details" (February 14, 2003)

Senior Democratic Senators have accused the CIA of sabotaging weapons inspections in Iraq by refusing to cooperate fully with the UN and by withholding crucial information about Saddam Hussein's arsenal. (Independent)

Blix Expected to Report Iraq Not Complying (February 13, 2003)

Washington anticipates that chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix's upcoming report will state Iraq's failure to comply with its disarmament obligations. This will enhance support for a war and give the US a way to counter efforts to extend inspections. (Los Angeles Times)

France Offering Plan to Expand Iraq Arms Hunt (February 12, 2003)

France suggests an alternative plan to avert a war with Iraq. At the same time, the US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice pressures chief weapon inspector Hans Blix to come down hard on Iraq and that time is running out for the inspectors. (New York Times)

Iraq Approves Inspectors' Use of U-2 Surveillance Planes, Iraqi Ambassador Says (February 10, 2003)

Iraq approved the use of US-made U-2 surveillance planes to search for weapons and pledged to pass legislation banning weapons of mass destruction, thus meeting two key demands made by the weapons inspectors. (Associated Press)

Blix Says Iraq Seems to Be Making Effort (February 7, 2003)

Chief UN inspector Hans Blix states that Iraq is making effort to cooperate visit ahead of his visit to Baghdad. The final inspection report on Iraq's cooperation will be critical in determining Security Council support for possible military intervention. ( Associated Press)

UK Dossier Lifted Evidence (February 7, 2003)

Iraq expert accuses Dawning Street of plagiarism from published academic articles, used in the British dossier to which Colin Powell referred during his speech to the UN Security Council." Powell said the now-discredited dossier described "in exquisite details Iraqi deception activities." Also see Glen Rangwala's excellent detailed analysis. (Guardian)

Claims and Evaluations of Iraq's Proscribed Weapons (February 6, 2003)

This document, published by Dr. Glen Rangwala, refers to claims made about Iraq's weapons program. The text also contains an inventory of weapons and a critical analysis of Iraq's program under the terms of Security Council Resolution 687.

The Unanswered Questions (February 5, 2003)

According to Ian Davis (Director of the British American Security Information Council), Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation about evidence on Iraq's weapon program to the UN Security Council did not offer justification for war. (Guardian )

France: Use of Force a 'Final Recourse' (February 5, 2003)

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin remained firm in his opposition against a war on Iraq and emphasized that the weapons inspectors must be given more time. (Los Angeles Times )

Powell's Dubious Case for War (February 5, 2003)

Phyllis Bennis questions the validity of Secretary of State Colin Powell's report about Iraq's weapons inspection program and its connection to Al Qaeda. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

US is Misquoting My Iraq Report, Says Blix (February 1, 2003)

UN chief weapon inspector Hans Blix challenged the Bush administration's false statements regarding the recent inspection report. Blix stated that he had not seen any persuasive indications of Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda. (Sydney Morning Herald)

NATO Delays Iraq Military Plan (January 29, 2003)

Following the report by UN weapon inspectors, US officials hoped for more support among their NATO allies. However, US intention to send planes and missiles to Turkey was blocked by four NATO members. (Associated Press)

A Case for Concern, Not a Case for War (January 28, 2003)

MERIP analyzes the US and British reactions following the report of UN inspectors to the Security Council. As US claims about particular weapons programs are losing credibility, "US reliance on claims about full and unconditional compliance with UNSC 1441 rather than about disarmament per se demonstrates that the claim of Iraq's threat is becoming increasingly hard to justify."

Statement by Hans Blix to the UN Security Council (January 27, 2003)

Full transcript from the chief UN weapons inspector Dr. Hans Blix's report to the UN Security Council on Iraq's weapons program. (Guardian)

Statement by Mohamed Elbaradei to the UN Security Council (January 27, 2003)

Full transcript from the IAEA Director General Mohamed Elbaradei's report to the UN Security Council on Iraq's capability to develop nuclear weapons. (CNN)

Talking Points: UN Inspectors Report (January 27, 2003)

Institute for Policy Studies Fellow Phyllis Bennis analyzes in a few points the reports by chief inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei. If Blix's statement seems to take on board some of the US concerns, this does not represent any justification for war. It only indicates that inspectors need more time to complete their tasks.

Inspections Report: Key Points (January 27, 2003)

Chief UN weapons inspector Dr. Hans Blix and Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei presented a report on the weapons inspections in Iraq to the UN Security Council. The report indicates that Iraq has cooperated on access but not on substance. Blix and ElBaradei also expressed that more time is necessary for further inspections. (BBC)

Inspectors Fail to Find Smoking Gun (January 27, 2003)

The leaders of the UN weapons team provided no evidence that Iraq has built up an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in their progress report to the Security Council today. They called for greater cooperation on the part of the Iraqi government and also asked for more time to continue with the inspections. (Guardian)

US Gives Blix More Time, But Edges Closer to Conflict (January 26, 2003)

In spite of offering Europe an "olive branch," US are determined to topple Saddam Hussein. In other words, there is an "unstoppable countdown to war." (Independent)

US Claim on Iraqi Nuclear Program Is Called Into Question (January 24, 2003)

President George W. Bush's claim that there is convincing evidence on Iraq's nuclear program has yet to emerge. According the UN inspection team, the aluminum tubes previously discovered were not made for enriching uranium. (Washington Post)

Inspectors End Talks with Iraq Agreement (January 20, 2003)

Hans Blix and Mohammed el-Baradei, the leaders of the UN inspectors in Iraq, have secured an agreement with Iraq allowing them to interview weapons specialists in private, a key demand of the US government. Iraq also pledged further assistance in the search for chemical weapons and agreed to hand over additional documents to the inspectors. (Washington Post)

Is This the "Smoking Gun?" (January 17, 2003)

The discovery of chemical warheads in Iraq enhances the possibility of war. The US will certainly "point to the discovery of undeclared chemical munitions as another example of Iraq's ‘pattern' of non-compliance" if the evidence is insufficient to declare a material breach (Telegraph)

Chemical Tests on Warheads Crucial to Decision on Breach of UN Resolution (January 17, 2003)

Weapons experts state that the discovery of empty chemical warheads may represent a formal breach of UN agreements. However, the possibility of a military response may depend on a battery of tests on the warheads to determine whether chemicals were ever poured into them. (Guardian)

Bush Presses UN to Speed Pace of Inspections (January 17, 2003)

Tensions over Iraq resurfaced in the UN Security Council, as the US pressed chief weapons inspector Hans Blix to ignore the timetable established by Resolution 1284 that could potentially slow down Washington's plans for war. (Independent)

US Fights Late March Report on Iraq Arms (January 16, 2003)

A 1999 resolution providing a timeline for UN inspection teams to meet with the Security Council has the potential to delay US war plans. Washington may request the body to "effectively disregard" the previous resolution, which "would remove the Council's main incentive for Iraq to cooperate and keep the Council in a constant state of crisis." (Washington Post)

UN Keeps up Hunt for Smoking Gun in Iraq, US Says None Needed (January 10, 2003)

Hans Blix reported to the Security Council that weapons inspectors found no "smoking gun" to incriminate Iraq, but US Secretary of State Colin Powell insists that the US may press ahead with war without new evidence. The US claims that Iraq's failure to allow inspectors to interview Iraqi scientists in Iraq without government monitors proves Iraq's non-cooperation. (Agence-France Presse)

US Is Sharing Iraq Data With Blix (January 9, 2003)

With only three weeks until Hans Blix presents his report on Iraqi compliance to the Security Council, the US has decided to share intelligence data with inspectors. The US government hopes this information will enable inspectors to become "more aggressive and to be more comprehensive in the work they're doing," says US Secretary of State Colin Powell. (Washington Post)

Blix Says No Smoking Guns Found in Iraq (January 9, 2003)

In his declaration to the Security Council, UN inspections head Hans Blix reported that there were no "smoking guns" but that Iraq had failed to answer "a great many questions." Blix also called on other nations to provide intelligence to fill the gaps left by unanswered questions in the report. (Associated Press)

UN Inspectors Fear Bush Will Ignore Them (January 5, 2003)

As the deadline approaches for UNMOVIC to report to the Security Council , inspectors fear that the US will use their work as a trigger for a US-led attack against Iraq, even if they have not found any evidence of weapons of mass destruction. (Observer)




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