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Hans Blix - Hero

Now known around the world for his work as head of UNMOVIC, Mr. Blix is a veteran diplomat who has been well acquainted with Iraq in the past. Between 1981 and 1997, he served as head of the IAEA overseeing inspections of nuclear programmes in Iraq.

He swept to prominence when Kofi Annan called him out of retirement to head inspections in Iraq whilst he was holidaying in Patagonia. During the run up to the Iraq war, he did not hesitate from criticising all sides involved, including a memorable rebuke of Colin Powell during a meeting of the Security Council.

Since returning to retirement and his hobbies which include picking wild mushrooms, he has taken the opportunity to take at swipe at the US and UK handling of the crisis. The lack of time and respect shown to the inspections by the Bush administration led him to conclude the Dubya would like to see the UN "sink into the East River" and suspect that there were ?consistent efforts to undermine me."

He clearly has his doubts about the job he was given to do, "We went to a great many sites that were given to us by intelligence, and only in three cases did we find anything - and they did not relate to weapons of mass destruction. That shook me a bit, I must say.

?I am obviously very interested in the question of whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction - and I am beginning to suspect there possibly were none." He later added that he believed that the war was planned "well in advance" and accused the US and the UK of "fabricating" evidence against Iraq to justify their campaign.