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Russia Touts Return Of Iraq Arms Inspectors

27 October 2004 -- Russia has called for the United Nations Security Council to discuss the return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq following the disappearance of 342 metric tons of high explosives in the country.

Russia's Ambassador to the UN Andrei Denisov said the explosives could pose a dangerous threat. He said at least some Iraqi officials would welcome a renewal of UN weapons inspections.

However, U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Danforth, did not back new UN involvement in weapons searches in Iraq.

Danforth said the most immediate need was to find out when the explosives disappeared and what happened to them. He said this was a job that would be best carried out by the CIA-led Iraq Survey Group.

Iraqi officials have said the explosives at the Al-Qaqaa facility went missing after 9 April 2003 due to theft and looting.