Thursday, December 10, 1998 Published at 04:32 GMT
World: Middle East
UN weapons inspections continue
The UN has been stepping up inspections
The chief United Nations weapons inspector, Richard Butler, says his teams will press on with their work in Iraq, despite the latest dispute with Baghdad.
"All teams have gone out as usual. They are undertaking their full range of activities," UN Special Commission (Unscom) spokeswoman Caroline Cross said.
On Wednesday the official Iraqi News Agency said UN weapons inspectors tried to enter the offices in "a surprising and provocative manner".
It said the men were not refused access, but left when asked to present written confirmation of the purpose of the UN inspection.
A UN spokesman in Baghdad described the Iraqi action as a serious development.
The move has been seen as a breach of Iraq's undertaking to allow weapons inspectors full and unfettered access to any site in the country.
White House spokesman David Levy warned Baghdad that the US was "poised to act" if Baghdad blocked the work of Unscom.
Thousands of US troops and hundreds of warplanes are on standby in the Gulf.
Butler report awaited
BBC UN Correspondent, Rob Watson says there is a sense at UN headquarters that nothing much will happen until then and until the Clinton administration has decided exactly how it wants to handle this potential crisis.
Unscom teams have been carrying out a series of unannounced visits at suspect sites, intended to provide information for a report to the UN Security Council which could decide whether sanctions against Iraq are lifted.