Blix attacks quality of reports on chemical weapons
HANS Blix, the UN chief weapons inspector, yesterday reignited the dispute over the existence of Iraqi biological and chemical stockpiles by accusing Britain and the United States of providing poor intelligence on the subject.
Mr Blix said the information from London and Washington to the UN monitoring team failed to produce a single lead.
"Only in three of those cases did we find anything at all, and in none of these cases were there any weapons of mass destruction, and that shook me a bit, I must say," Mr Blix told the BBC. "I thought - my God, if this is the best intelligence they have and we find nothing, what about the rest?"
His comments will raise further doubts about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) - used as the primary justification for military action.
Mr Blair was forced to deny claims No 10 had doctored reports to exaggerate the extent, capability and menace of the weapons.
Mr Blix also criticised Britain and the US for failing to give the weapons inspectors more time, especially as the Iraqis were "almost frantic" to co-operate.
But he remained open minded on whether the WMD weapons existed, saying he was baffled as to why Saddam would have endured ten years of UN sanctions if his regime had nothing to hide.
"I think Saddam probably figured himself to be a sort of emperor of Mesopotamia and they regarded all inspections as intrusions. In the end it could also be bad brinkmanship. Maybe he felt that there wouldn’t be an attack ... and maybe he misjudged that," Mr Blix said.
Meanwhile Iain Duncan Smith, the Tory leader, further distanced himself from the government over Iraq, questioning if the attack had been in accordance with international law.
"I will never know for certain whether or not we proceeded exactly in accordance with the manner in which we said we did, in other words in line with those resolutions," he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
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