Moscow praises Baghdad for "openness" to weapons inspections

Russia's political establishment hails Baghdad's declared readiness to clarify issues concerning its alleged programs to develop weapons of mass destruction, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said to the media Monday. But of course, the degree of the Iraqi leadership's cooperativeness and the actual presence of such weapons in Iraq remain for UNMOVIC and IAEA experts to establish, he added.

On Sunday, General Amir al-Saadi, Iraq's top government scientist, announced Baghdad's willingness to invite CIA officials for an on-the-ground inspection of facilities believed to be hiding nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs. "We even wouldn't mind if someone from the American intelligence were to accompany the inspection teams to show them the places in which they allege there is something," he said. Gen. al-Saadi also said that Iraq was ready to answer any questions on its weapons report, submitted to the UN Security Council.