Iraq has not been cooperating with weapons inspectors as much as it should, the United Nations was told yesterday.
Inspectors are looking for illegal weapons that Iraq may be hiding. Hans Blix, the leader of the inspectors, said that the government of Saddam Hussein has not let inspectors talk privately to scientists, has blocked the use of some picture-taking, high-altitude airplanes and has not given the United Nations a full list of weapons. But Blix also said that just having inspectors in Iraq could force Hussein to get rid of the weapons. Kofi Annan, the head of the United Nations, said the inspectors should be given "a reasonable amount of time" to do more inspections.
Yesterday's report is seen as an important step in deciding what will happen with Iraq. There is still a lot of disagreement. The United States has said Iraq has had enough time to turn over its weapons, while other countries say the inspectors should keep looking.
Inspectors have spent the last two months visiting places in Iraq where weapons might be hidden. So far, they haven't found much. But Blix said that there are missing weapons that Iraq hasn't explained.
Tonight, President Bush will talk about a possible war with Iraq in his State of the Union address. But he said last week, "It is clear to me now that [Hussein] is not disarming."
Washington Post national reporter Karen DeYoung answers some questions about the big issues facing the United States, Iraq and the world.