Baghdad, 20 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - The top U.N. weapons inspector, Richard Butler, says that his team will resume work tomorrow following an agreement between Iraq and U.N. Security Council members to allow American inspectors back into Iraq.
Speaking on U.S. television (ABC), Butler said that his crew, including its American members, will fly into Iraq tomorrow "at first light" to begin inspections.
According to the agreement, which was brokered in Geneva this morning by Russian diplomats, Iraq says it will let U.S. weapons inspectors into the country in return for a Russian promise to push for an end to U.N. sanctions.
Earlier today, in Baghdad, the Iraqi parliament gave its approval to the deal and hailed it as a "great victory."
Details on the accord are sketchy, but officials from the U.S. and Britain insisted that the Security Council had made n-o commitment to lift U.N. sanctions on Iraq.
British foreign secretary Robin Cook said today that Iraq's President Saddam Hussein had not won any
Iraq's deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said in Cairo today he believes the agreement will lead to an eventual lifting of sanctions. He acknowledged Baghdad hadn't received promises but said Russia had pledged to work for a lifting of the sanctions.