Asia & Australia

US Eyes Iraq Oil: Blix

07/11/2007 & News Agencies

SYDNEY — Former chief United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix believes the US plans to stay long in Iraq to guarantee the flow of oil supplies and to keep a close eye on neighboring Iran.“One fear I would have is that the US has a hidden thought to remain in Iraq,” Blix told the Australian radio on Wednesday, November 7.

“One reason why they wanted in was that they felt they must leave Saudi Arabia. After the Gulf War in 1991, they left their troops in Saudi Arabia to protect pipelines,” he explained.

“And when they felt they could no longer stay in Saudi Arabia, Iraq was the next best place because it was more secularized than Saudi Arabia and had the second biggest oil reserves in the region.”

The Bush administration is resisting mounting calls at home and abroad to withdraw troops from Iraq.

Blix, here to receive the Sydney Peace Prize, said the US wants to stay in Iraq to keep a close eye on its arch foe Iran.

“North Korea is promised diplomatic relations with the US and Japan if they abandon nuclear program and they’re also promised a guarantee against attacks…Iran has nothing of that.”

The US and its allies accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran insists its program is for peaceful civilian use.

Blix has said that the West’s neo-colonial approach in dealing with Iran is humiliating and unfruitful, insisting Tehran should be given reasonable incentives to halt its nuclear program.


Blix, who led UN weapons inspection in Iraq before the 2003 invasion, described the Iraq war as a disaster.

“The aims of the war were, first of all, to eliminate weapons of mass destruction that did not exist; secondly, to establish a democracy — and what they ended up with was anarchy; and thirdly, they wanted to weed out Al-Qaeda, which were not there but which came there,” he told The Australian newspaper.

“What it goes to show is that although tyranny is horrible, anarchy can be even worse than tyranny.”

Five years after the Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq is in shambles and does not have the slightest semblance of a modern country suffering cancerous government corruption and a deadly civil war, former US army captains wrote in a column in The Washington Post on Tuesday, October 16.

They admitted that US forces are caught in a quagmire in Iraq with incessant resistance attacks and a raging civil war slipping out of control.

The US embassy in Baghdad said in a recent hard-hitting report that corruption and graft were plaguing the Shiite-led government of Nouri al-Maliki with criminal gangs and militias controlling many departments.

Blix also criticized countries contributing troops in Iraq.

“I would have thought the presence of foreign (non-American) troops in Iraq, the value of it is that it somewhat improves the appearance of a multilateral operation, rather than anything else,” he said.

“They (the US) have over 140,000 people in Iraq and then on top of that presumably a lot of contracted people, so I don’t see quite that it has more than the political and symbolic value.”