Tuesday, November 17, 1998 Published at 14:29 GMT
UN inspectors return to the field
Inspectors say they are determined to return to work
United Nations weapons inspectors are back at work on their first mission since returning to Iraq.
But as the last six monitors returned to Baghdad, the US and Britain remained sceptical about President Saddam Hussein's sincerity.
The return of inspectors follows the Iraqi president's last minute agreement to resume full co-operation in the face of US air strikes.
They are expected to resume their work with routine inspections, visiting sites and facilities which have been installed with surveillance equipment.
Later, inspectors specialising in unannounced lightning visits to suspected sites are due in Baghdad.
Unscom, the body overseeing inspections, says there is still a vast array of materials and documents which have yet to be turned over, particularly in the biological field, which the UN has described as "a black hole".
Iraq flatly denies this.
Butler: 'I hope to God they keep their promise'
But the head of Iraq's chemical and geological programme, General Amer Al Sa'di insisted they had already been doing so.
"We have told everything and we cannot prove the negative. It is for Unscom to come up with evidence," he added.
Mr Al Sa'di said eight years of seemingly endless inspections were enough and that Iraq's demand for an immediate end to sanctions was a just one.
Mr Butler would not speculate on whether Iraq had allowed the inspectors back simply to avoid military attack or was really willing to co-operate.
"The [UN] Security Council decided to take at face value their pledge, as did President Clinton," he told the BBC.
"Everyone is saying this is it. This is the end game. It's real. They have made a very serious promise in the face of very serious force. I hope to God they keep their promise."
The US and UK have warned that attacks could come at a moment's notice if Iraq fails to give the UN full co-operation.
Unscom's main task is stopping Iraq's previously substantial chemical and biological weapons programme, which the country maintains is finished.
The inspectors now hope to use the renewed threat of military action to discover the truth, and the US warns that Iraq's promise of co-operation will be aggressively tested.
In the meantime the US build-up in the Gulf is to be scaled back.
On Saturday the US and UK were only hours away from launching an attack when the Iraqi leader backed down.
Despite the climbdown, both governments have said they will step up political efforts to remove Saddam Hussein from office.