Chief U-N weapons inspector Hans Blix confirms that inspectors will begin arriving in Baghdad Monday -- and he says the search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction could get started as soon as November 27th.
Mr. Blix says one of the first tasks facing inspectors will be analyzing a detailed declaration of all Iraqi weapons programs, which Baghdad must submit no later than December 8th.
The U-N resolution passed by the Security Council last week says there will be serious consequences if Iraq does not comply. President Bush has threatened military action, and says there will be "zero tolerance" for Iraqi maneuvering to avoid detection of banned weapons.
The Iraqi government says it no longer has any biological or chemical weapons, or any equipment needed to produce nuclear weapons. Mr. Blix said if Iraq continues to insist that it is weapons-free, other parties will have to present evidence to the contrary to the Security Council.
Chief inspector Blix is responsible for finding any biological and chemical weapons, while the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (I-A-E-A) -- Mohamed El-Baradei -- will head the search for nuclear weapons.
The U-N resolution says weapons inspectors must have access to any site in Iraq at any time. The inspectors must file a formal report on Iraqi compliance 60 days after they begin their search.
Thursday, Mr. El-Baradei said minor omissions from Baghdad will not be reported to the Security Council. But the I-A-E-A chief says any pattern of a lack of cooperation will be reported for the Council to decide if Baghdad is committing what the resolution calls a "material breach," which would result in "serious consequences."