NEW YORK – In a speech to the U.N. Security Council Monday, chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said Iraq has pledged full cooperation, but it may have trouble with the Dec. 8 deadline for revealing any weapons of mass destruction.
Weapons inspections are to begin Wednesday, Blix said.
A Security Council resolution, adopted unanimously Nov. 7, demands that the Iraqis give up any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, or face "serious consequences." The Bush administration threatens an invasion to enforce Iraqi disarmament, with or without U.N. sanction. Other governments say a decision to wage war on Iraq can be made only by the Security Council.
Blix said Iraqi officials told him they have no weapons of mass destruction, and they are having trouble interpreting the U.N. demands, such as listing factories that can be used for dual-use purposes.
Blix said he does not want members of the media to accompany the inspectors on Wednesday in order to avoid turning the inspections into a "circus."