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Blix, ElBaradei Report Iraq Making Progress

Chief weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei told the Security Council Friday that although Iraq has carried out a "substantial measure" of the U.N.'s disarmament demands, it still has not handed over sufficient documentary evidence to prove its claims.

Blix also made accessible to all council members another 167-page report that points out that Iraq has repeatedly misled past inspection teams and has lied about its banned weapons program.

He added that Iraq's recent steps to cooperate with inspectors have not covered all the relevant areas involving weapons of mass destruction and that Baghdad has tried to attach conditions to its cooperation.

Blix also said Iraq's cooperation has not been immediate, as ordered under Resolution 1441. But he characterized Baghdad's destruction of its Al Samoud 2 missiles as a "substantial measure of disarmament."

"We are not watching the breaking of toothpicks. Lethal weapons are being destroyed," he said Friday, adding that no more missiles had been destroyed that morning.

Iraq has been encouraging its scientists be interviewed, and has also named researchers who destroyed biological and chemical weapons in 1991, Blix added, "surely there must also remain records regarding the quantities" of items destroyed, such as supplies of anthrax and VX gas.

Weapons inspectors will soon interview researchers outside the country, Blix said, adding that "conditions ensuring the absence of undue influences are difficult to attain inside Iraq."

While it's "obvious" that Iraq is making attempts to resolve some longstanding disarmament issues, Blix stressed, "these cannot be said to constitute immediate cooperation."

Also, despite intelligence reports that say Iraq has been moving weapons of mass destruction in mobile units, Blix said, "no evidence of these proscribed activities have so far been found."

Blix concluded his remarks by saying inspectors need additional time to complete their work. He said it would be a matter of months, but not years.

ElBaradei followed Blix to the microphone and said his nuclear inspectors have conducted 280 inspections and support for those searches "has continued to expand."

"We have to date found no evidence ... of the revival of a nuclear weapon program in Iraq," he said, adding that his team will continue to investigate.

ElBaradei also urged other states to bring forth information regarding Iraq's questionable nuclear program.

In an article in Friday's Wall Street Journal, ElBaradei said his nuclear inspectors should be able to provide a definitive report soon.

"The IAEA should be able in the near future to provide the Security Council with credible assurances regarding the presence or absence of a nuclear-weapons program in Iraq," ElBaradei wrote.

The reports could be key in the decision-making process for some undecided Security Council members, which could tilt an upcoming vote for or against a U.S.-British-Spanish resolution calling for military action.

Blix's 167-page additional report, distributed in declassified form to all council members Friday, categorizes 29 "clusters" or groups of weapons programs and a "to-do" list for Iraq in order to satisfy disarmament demands.

The document reveals that there could be 10,000 liters of anthrax unaccounted for and that Iraq is continuing to produce more missiles. In it, Blix questions Iraqi statements that it stored all bulk biological warfare agents during the 1991 Gulf War and destroyed those unused after the war.

Fox News has learned that the decision to declassify and distribute the document last week came mainly from pressure on Blix by Germany, which plans to use its citations that vast amounts of illegal items have been found to illustrate that inspections are working.

The United States feels the second report serves its goals even better. One administration official said it presents "elegant testimony to lies and deceptions, which has been the pattern of Iraqi behavior across eight years."

British Foreign Secretary Straw described the 167-page report as "a shocking indictment of the record of Saddam Hussein's deception and deceit, but above all, of the danger which he poses to the region and to the world."

The resolution authorizing war, sponsored by the United States, Britain and Spain, faces stiff opposition led by France, Russia, China and Germany. Despite weeks of diplomatic maneuvering, Washington has been unable to muster the nine votes necessary for the resolution's passage.

President Bush said, "we're days away from resolving this issue in the Security Council," during a prime-time news conference in Washington Thursday night. "No matter what the whip count is, we're calling for the vote. It's time for people to show their cards, let the world know where they stand when it comes to Saddam."

Both Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have said that they would go to war without U.N. support. But it's no secret that U.N. backing would give the war international legitimacy.

Fox News' Liza Porteus and Teri Schultz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.