BAGHDAD — Former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter, once accused by Iraq of spying for the United States, returned Saturday to film a documentary about weapons sites and the impact of U.N. sanctions.
Ritter said on arrival in Baghdad that he hoped that his mission can help break the impasse between Iraq and the United Nations over the suspended inspections program and Iraq's allegedly continuing efforts to produce weapons of mass destruction.
The White House dismissed Ritter's trip, saying he was likely to become a propaganda pawn of the Iraqi authorities.
Calling his trip a "risky maneuver," Ritter said the aim of his documentary was to judge whether Baghdad had rebuilt its arsenal since U.N. inspectors left in December 1998, just before Western warplanes bombed Iraq in retaliation for its obstruction of the inspection regime.
"There has been a lot of irresponsible speculation about what Iraq is doing today, now that weapons inspectors aren't in Iraq," he said.