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Hans Blix, in the Eye of the Storm

Four years after the last round of arms checks in Iraq, chief U.N. weapons inspector Dr. Hans Blix arrived in Baghdad Monday to launch a new round.

He's joined by International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed El Baradei and advance inspection teams that both men will oversee.

The inspectors return behind the force of a new U.N. Security Council resolution requiring Iraq to disarm or face "serious consequences." It's a document that gives considerable power to the weapons inspectors themselves.

Diplomats and US officials say that if Iraq is accused of violating the resolution, the Security Council will decide whether Iraq is in "material breach" by consulting the inspectors about what is happening on the ground.

That creates a political minefield -- and Blix must pick his way through it.

For All Things Considered, NPR's Vicky O'Hara profiles Blix.

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