- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 9, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 9 (UPI) — Iraq said Thursday it intends to file a complaint with the U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix and International Atomic Energy Agency chief Muhammad ElBaradei about international arms inspectors asking Iraqi scientists about the country's intelligence gathering.

Iraqi presidential adviser Brig. Amer al-Saadi told a visiting delegation from South Africa that the inspectors, in Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction, asked questions not related to their mission when they visited a military base recently. He did not identify the site or say when the visit took place.

Blix, who heads the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, and the IAEA's ElBaradei are scheduled to visit Iraq on Jan. 19. The arms inspectors were sent to Iraq under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 adopted Nov. 8.

Al-Saadi said Iraq will ask UNMOVIC and the IAEA to instruct the inspectors to stop asking questions related to intelligence gathering.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz earlier this week accused the inspectors of seeking intelligence information from employees in Iraqi factories and bases, and of gathering data on Iraqi scientists not involved in weapons of mass destruction programs.

Also Thursday, UNMOVIC and IAEA teams searched seven sites suspected of producing non-conventional weapons, including installations in central Baghdad and its environs that were inspected for the first time.

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