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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Blix: Arms Search Lacks Credibility

UNITED NATIONS -- Chief UN arms inspector Hans Blix on Thursday cast doubt on the authority of the U.S.-British team of experts searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

"I do not want to question the integrity or the professionalism of the inspectors of the coalition, but anybody who functions under an army of occupation cannot have the same credibility as an independent inspector," Blix told reporters after addressing the UN Security Council.

The United States and Britain has refused to let UN inspectors back into Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein on April 9.

But they have been unable to produce evidence of the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs they used to justify the invasion and have sent hundreds of extra experts to Iraq to step up the hunt.

Blix told the Security Council that "there remain long lists of items unaccounted for" in the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs that Iraq claimed to have dismantled more than a decade ago.

"But it is not justified to jump to the conclusion that something exists just because it is unaccounted for," he said adding that the UN Monitoring and Verification Commission should still have a role in Iraq.