NEWS

Greek to lead Iraq inspectors

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday appointed Demetrius Perricos of Greece as the acting head of the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction inspection commission. Perricos, who is currently serving as retiring chief inspector Hans Blix’s deputy and director of planning and operations, will become the acting executive chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, or UNMOVIC, on July 1. Except for the United States, all UN Security Council members, including Britain, want the inspectors back in Iraq and a recent council resolution said their mandate would have to be redefined after the war. Blix, 74, is retiring to his native Sweden later this month after being executive chairman since March 2000. Before that, he was head of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency for 16 years. Perricos, 67, worked at the IAEA at the same time, dealing with Iraqi inspections, the end of South Africa’s nuclear program and the North Korean controversy. He switched to UNMOVIC when Blix took over the inspection body.