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UN: El-Baradei Says No Surprises In Iraq Report

Vienna, 26 January 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Mohammad el-Baradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), says that his report on IRAQ to the UN Security Council is unlikely to present any surprises. He made the comment in Vienna's airport as he left for New York. He and chief UN inspector Hans Blix are to deliver tomorrow an assessment of weapons inspectors' search in Iraq for nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.

El-Baradei stressed again the apolitical nature of the inspectors' activities. He said they focus on technical tasks, disregarding political developments. El-Baradei's spokesman, Mark Gwozdecky, has said that el-Baradei will press for several months' more time for the inspectors to work.

In Iraq, inspectors continued today to search sites where weapons might be stored or developed. Yesterday three more Iraqi scientists insisted on the presence of government representatives as UN inspectors interviewed them about their country's alleged weapons programs