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  Second Iraq report divides United Nations
Updated 14 February 2003, 19.08
The UN Security Council hear Hans Blix's report
The latest report into Iraqi weapons has divided the United Nations.

And it has probably delayed a possible war - though it may not prevent it altogether.

Hans Blix speaks to the Security Council
Hans Blix speaks to the Security Council
Hans Blix is the man in charge of seeing if Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

He gave his second report on Iraq to the United Nations on Friday.

The main points

In favour of Saddam Hussein, he said:

  • Iraq was giving more active help to weapons inspectors
  • American U2 spy planes were being allowed to fly over Iraq
  • Some Iraqi scientists were being allowed to talk to inspectors in private
  • Iraq was talking to South Africa, to get help on disarming

But against Saddam Hussein:

  • Iraq has some banned missiles (which can fly further than they should)
  • 1,000 tonnes of nasty chemical weapons are missing
  • And they could still be more helpful to weapons inspectors

The impact

Mr Blix's statement started a big argument among the members of the UN Security Council listening to him speak.

France and Russia said it was encouraging, and the inspectors should be given more time.

But the US and UK didn't agree.

Later on, President Bush said that Saddam was still "deceiving the world".

The next crucial date is 1 March, Hans Blix's next report to the UN.

If Iraq continues to be more helpful, war could be delayed again.

If not, war could follow very soon.

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