In Iraq, the head of the UN weapons inspections team, Richard Butler, has made the team’s first request for documents on Iraq’s banned weapons program. In a letter sent yesterday to Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, the team requests documents that Iraq has previously refused to hand over, including an Iraqi air force account of chemical munitions used in the Iran-Iraq war. The United States has said that it remains poised for a military attack on Iraq if president Saddam Hussein shows any signs of backing out of cooperating with the inspectors. Meanwhile, a top State Department official met yesterday with a member of Iraq’s opposition, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced yesterday that he, too, would be hosting a meeting of Iraqi opposition groups in a bid to unite the opponents of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
- Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! Producer reporting from Baghdad.