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Top UN Inspector Reports Increased Iraqi Cooperation

The United Nations' top weapons inspector for disarming Iraq has told the Security Council Iraq has made progress in disarming, but is not in full compliance with U.N. demands.

Hans Blix, the head of the U.N. inspection team searching for biological and chemical weapons, says Baghdad has accelerated its cooperation with the inspectors. But Mr. Blix says Iraq's slow response to the inspectors' requests and its attachment of conditions on occasion continue to raise questions about its immediate and active cooperation. "It is obvious that while the numerous initiatives which are now taken by the Iraqi side with a view to resolving some long-standing open disarmament issues can be seen as active or even proactive, these initiatives - three to four months into the new resolution - cannot be said to constitute immediate cooperation," said Mr. Blix.

Mr. Blix attributes Iraq's increased cooperation to outside pressure. He says inspectors have yet to find evidence of proscribed activities underground. And he says that rather than double the size of the inspection team, as several Security Council members have suggested, he would prefer twice as much information from members about such evidence. The United States has stated that Iraq continues to produce weapons of mass destruction.