Nor had he any reason to believe, as President George Bush charged in his State of the Union speech, that Iraqi agents were posing as scientists, or that his inspection agency had been penetrated by Iraqi agents and that sensitive information might have been leaked to Baghdad.
Finally, he said, he had seen no persuasive indications of Iraqi ties to al-Qaeda. "There are other states where there appear to be stronger links," such as Afghanistan, Dr Blix said. "It's bad enough that Iraq may have weapons of mass destruction."
Russia has also denied any knowledge of links between Iraq and al-Qaeda extremists. The Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, said on Thursday that "so far, neither Russia nor any other country has information about Iraq's ties with al-Qaeda".
"If we receive such information we will analyse it," he said. "Statements made so far are not backed by concrete documents and concrete facts."
Meanwhile the founder of a militant Islamist group in northern Iraq has denied US reports that his organisation was the secret link between Baghdad and al-Qaeda.
Mullah Krekar, a refugee in Norway, said Saddam was his foe, and the Kurdish Islamist said he had no contact with al-Qaeda.
He said that he could prove that his Ansar al-Islam (Supporters of Islam) organisation, which controls a sliver of land in northern Iraq, had "no contact with al-Qaeda, with Osama [bin Laden], with Saddam Hussein, with Iran or Iraq".
Ansar's role is at the heart of the US's latest attempt to demonstrate a connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq.
Web posted at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/01/31/1043804520548.html
|All information posted on this web site is the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult the healer of your choice for medical care and advice.|