The United States entices the UNMOVIC inspectors, offering them to enter the American group of experts to search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, said UNMOVIC spokesman Ewen Buchanan in New York on Monday evening. According to him, he knows at least two cases of such offers made to UN members by the Americans. In both cases the UNMOVIC inspectors preferred to preserve their existing contacts with the United Nations, he said.
Hans Blix (the head of the UNMOVIC) believes that the inspectors have the right to take part also in the US inspection group but in this case they have to break up contacts with the United Nations, but they do not have the right to give Americans any files, samples or other materials received in the course of the inspections in Iraq under the aegis of the UNMOVIC, noted Buchanan.
According to the latter, part of the inspectors in the brigade on searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, being created by the United States, are former members of the UNMOVIC's predecessor - UNSCOM. As has been reported, in the near future the US administration intended to send to Iraq its own research group of one thousand members to search for weapons of mass destruction. It will be headed by former UN member Charles Dulfer.
In the months before the beginning of the military operation against Iraq, the United States and Great Britain were flatly against increasing the personnel of the UNMOVIC and IAEA in Iraq whose personnel did not top 300 people.
The US administration announced its intention to search for weapons of mass destruction on its own on the eve of the report by the UNMOVIC head to the UN Security Council on the possibility and the readiness of the international inspectors to resume their work in Iraq. The report was scheduled for Tuesday.