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U-N Weapons Inspectors Prepare for Work in Iraq - 2002-11-26


The team of 17 inspectors in Baghdad today (Tuesday) showed off new equipment that they will use to resume inspections for the first time in nearly four years. The new equipment includes sophisticated ground-penetrating radar that can uncover underground facilities.

U-N Security Council resolution 14-41 adopted November eighth gives the international monitors unprecedented powers to find out if Iraq has any banned weapons of mass destruction. The resolution warns of serious consequences if Iraq fails to cooperate.

In an interview today (Tuesday) with the French newspaper Le Monde, U-N Secretary-General Kofi Annan says he believes war with Iraq can be avoided if President Saddam Hussein honors his commitments to the international community.

Monday in New York, chief U-N weapons inspector Hans Blix said he has warned Iraq it must provide convincing evidence that it has no weapons of mass destruction or any illegal programs to produce them.

President Bush says he will not hesitate to lead a coalition of forces against Iraq if it fails to disarm.

(AP, reuters, prev) ## ME/NC/scl

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