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Blix says US and UK future credibility tarnished
( 2003-10-10 10:00) (Agencies)

Former U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said on Thursday the United States and Britain had tarnished their credibility and it would in future be harder for them to make claims about countries having weapons of mass destruction.

Blix told Swedish TV4 news that he thought the leaders of both nations had not knowingly misled their people or the world over the presence of such weapons in Iraq, but they had imparted wrong information.

President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair cited Baghdad's alleged possession of weapons of mass as the prime reason for going to war with Iraq.

"I wouldn't say that they did it on purpose," he said. "I never questioned that Bush and Blair believed what they said, but it is clearly the case that it became wrong."

"They were so convinced that Saddam was going on with his weapons of mass destruction that they didn't look upon it critically," he said.

Asked if London and Washington would have credibility problems if they made similar claims in the future, Blix said: "It is clear that if information comes from British or U.S. secret service sources about what Iran, is about to do then everyone will look at it with critical eyes.

"So they have damaged themselves for the future a bit."

He said his team had found "small fragments" of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, as had CIA adviser David Kay and his team, and that it was increasingly likely that this was all that would be found in future.

"For every single day that goes by it seems more probable that there isn't anything left other than small fragments," he said.

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