Saddam's Claim 'may have been true'

Gulf Daily News

Vol XXVI NO. 174 Wednesday 10 September 2003

WASHINGTON: Iraq may have been truthful when it told the UN Security Council in December that it did not have chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, a former chief UN weapons inspector said late on Monday.

The declaration, submitted on December 7 by the government of then-Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, was quickly dismissed as false and incomplete by the US and Britain, which accused Baghdad of failing to disarm as required by Security Council Resolution 1441.

These charges were later used by Washington and London to justify the invasion of the country in late March.

But more than four months after US President George W Bush declared victory in Iraq, former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix said facts presented by Iraq in the 12,000-page document may have been accurate.

"With this long period, I'm inclined to think that the Iraqi statement that they destroyed all the biological and chemical weapons, which they had in the summer of 1991 may well be the truth," Blix told CNN television.