Published September 17, 2003
SYDNEY, Australia – Former U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix (search) believes that Iraq destroyed most of its weapons of mass destruction (search) 10 years ago, but kept up the appearance that it had them to deter a military attack.
In an interview with an Australian radio station broadcast Wednesday, Blix said it was unlikely that the U.S and British teams now searching for weapons in Iraq would find more than some "documents of interest."
"I'm certainly more and more to the conclusion that Iraq has, as they maintained, destroyed all, almost, of what they had in the summer of 1991," Blix told Australian Broadcasting Corp. (search) radio.
"The more time that has passed, the more I think it's unlikely that anything will be found."
Blix indicated he thought the U.S.-led coalition had backtracked on the issue of Iraq's weapons.
"In the beginning they talked about weapons concretely, and later on they talked about weapons programs. Maybe they'll find some documents of interest," he said.
Blix, who spent three years searching for Iraqi chemical, biological and ballistic missiles as head of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, said Iraq might have tried to fool the United States into believing it had weapons of mass destruction over the years in order to deter attack.
"I mean, you can put up a sign on your door, 'Beware of the Dog,' without having a dog," he said from his home in Sweden.
The United States and its allies Britain and Australia invaded Iraq in March after saying Saddam Hussein's regime was developing nuclear arms as well as chemical and biological weapons.
However, a search by the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group -- which is made up of some 1,400 scientists, military and intelligence experts -- has failed to uncover any weapons of mass destruction since the conflict ended.
President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have come under increasing pressure to prove that Iraq had a weapons of mass destruction.