BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – U.N. inspectors took their hunt for banned arms to science and technology colleges in Baghdad yesterday, and the top nuclear inspector said his teams’ mission would take several more months.
While appealing for time, Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the U.N. nuclear monitoring agency, acknowledged that “the international community is … getting impatient” with Iraq, which he said had been “passive” in its cooperation with inspectors.
The United States and Britain have accelerated their military buildup in the Persian Gulf in preparation for a possible invasion of Iraq. Sufficient forces are expected to be in place by early February to wage war – though the White House says President Bush hasn’t yet decided whether to attack.
Washington has threatened military action if Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein does not meet U.N. requirements that get rid of mass destruction weapons. Iraq denies it has such weapons and says it’s fully cooperating with U.N. weapons inspectors.
Yesterday, teams of U.N. nuclear and chemical weapons experts visited Baghdad’s technological university and two science colleges, according to the Information Ministry.