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Page 1


 "We are not stopped anywhere" ...



Page 2


 "We are in nobody's pocket" ...



Page 3


 Blix says the impatience is driven by worries about troop morale, opinion polls and weather ...



Page 4


 "I hear your president say that war is the means of last
resort" ...




Page 5


 Blix is more worried about global warming than any armed conflict ...



Hans Blix Talks Iraq


 John Norris Tells The Story Behind The Interview







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Norris: How will you know when the inspections process is complete?

Blix: Well, there is a difficulty at the end. We've been saying there will always be a residue of uncertainty. You never get quite down to the bottom of the barrel, but we are much higher than that at the present time. There is quite a lot left in the barrel that could be explained by them. If they have some weapons, if they have some anthrax, they should deliver that. We're not saying they do have it, but if they do have it, put it on the table.

"The threat of force is vital, but the use of force is awful."
Norris: While the inspections team is facing a lot of pressure, it seems there's also a great deal of support from people around the world who want the inspections, who believe in the inspections. Is that a source of empowerment?

Blix: First of all, I think one must be aware that the Iraqis would not have moved one inch without political and military pressure. I took part in Secretary Kofi Annan's discussions with Iraqis last summer and I'm quite sure they would not have moved but for that. It's fine with public opinion and with the Arab League and many others urging them to accept inspections, but they would not have accepted inspections had it not been for the U.S. pressure. And this has to remain there. Even now I think the pressure is a necessary element. The threat of force is important and vital, but the use of force is awful.

Norris: Are you hopeful that war can still be avoided?

Blix: I think so. I also hear your president say that war is the means of last resort and I think he means that. I met him last autumn and he assured me that they wanted to come through and disarm Iraq by peaceful means, and that's what we are trying to do as hard as we can. I would have a little more patience than some have here, but not much more.

Norris: There are those who say if this latest resolution does not go forward, if it does not pass, if war happens, if the U.S. goes to war without the U.N., then that will render the U.N. irrelevant in the future somehow. Secretary-General Annan spoke out and said, "No, the U.N.'s relevance will continue." Do you believe in the U.N. and its future as well?

Blix: Yes, I think Annan is absolutely right in this, as in most other things. The U.N. is much more than the case of Iraq. International cooperation, multilateralism is indispensable. The world has gotten so interwoven. We have to use it. Even on television, the wavelengths that you use, they have to be distributed between countries. You fly across the Atlantic, and you can't do that without international agreements. Every little part of our lives is dependent upon multilateral decisions. Of course war and peace are the most important ones. And the U.N. does not have a perfect collective security system, so it's hard to get an effectively working organization. But I would say if the Security Council is only relevant if it agrees with the United States, then we have come a long way in a direction that I do not like very much.


NEXT: Blix is more concerned about global warming than any armed conflict, and remains optimistic about avoiding war ...
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 Hans Blix speaks
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