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World Community Must Maintain Pressure on Iraq, Says Blair - 2002-09-18

British Prime Minister Tony Blair says the world community must maintain pressure on Iraq to make sure weapons inspections resume without interference.

Prime Minister Blair told reporters Wednesday that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has only agreed to let U.N. weapons inspectors return because of international pressure. "Nobody should be in any doubt," said Tony Blair. "This is not because Saddam wants to let inspectors back in. I mean, he's played around for years. The U.N. had to break off negotiations back in July because he wasn't cooperating. It's the pressure that has brought him to this position. We've got to keep up the pressure and make sure the weapons inspectors actually go in, not that he says they'll go in, but that they actually go in and they can do their job."

It was Mr. Blair's first public comment on Iraq's announcement that U.N. weapons inspectors can return after an absence of nearly four years.