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Many Iraqi Weapons Unaccounted For, Says Blix - 2003-02-14

The top U.N. weapons inspector for Iraq says after 11 week of inspections, his teams have not found any weapons of mass destruction in the country, but in his report to the U.N. Security Council, Hans Blix says many weapons that Iraq has been ordered to destroy still can not be accounted for.

In his latest briefing to the Security Council, Hans Blix says Iraq continues to allow weapons inspectors access to suspected sites across Iraq, but that Baghdad still has not explained what happened to what the United States has characterized as hundreds of banned biological and chemical weapons. "To take an example, a document which Iraq provided, suggested to us that some 1,000 tons of chemical agent were unaccounted for," he said. "I must not jump to the conclusion that they exist. However, that possibility is also not excluded."

Mr. Blix added that U.N. weapons experts found that one of Iraq's new missile systems exceeds the range limit set by Security Council resolutions.

Also reporting to the Security Council, Mohammed ElBaradei, chief U.N. nuclear inspector said that his inspectors have no evidence so far that Iraq is pursuing a banned nuclear weapons program.

Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell delivered a detailed presentation of evidence to the Security Council which he said demonstrated what he called irrefutable proof that Saddam Hussein has failed to disarm, and that there is no sign further weapons inspections would ensure that he does.