Hans Blix: Wikis


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Dr. Hans Blix

Blix in Vienna 2002. Photo by Dean Calma, IAEA

In office
1 March 2000 – 30 June 2003
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Demetrius Perricos

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency
In office
1981 – December 1, 1997
Preceded by Sigvard Eklund
Succeeded by Mohamed ElBaradei

In office
October 18, 1978 – October 12, 1979
Preceded by Karin Söder
Succeeded by Ola Ullsten

Born 28 June 1928 (1928-06-28) (age 81)
Uppsala, Sweden

About this sound Hans Martin Blix (born 28 June 1928) is a Swedish diplomat and politician. He was Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs (1978 - 1979). Blix was also the head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission from March 2000 to June 2003, when he was succeeded by Demetrius Perricos. In 2002, the commission began searching Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, ultimately finding none. In February 2010, the Government of the United Arab Emirates announced that Mr. Blix will be the head of an advisory board for its nuclear power program.


Early life and career

Blix was born in Uppsala, Sweden. He is the son of professor Gunnar Blix and Hertha Wiberg and grandson of professor Magnus Blix. He comes from a family of Jamtlandic origin. Blix studied at Uppsala University and Columbia University, earning his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge (Trinity Hall).[1] In 1959, he became a Juris Doctor in International Law at the University of Uppsala, where he was appointed Associate Professor in International Law the next year. [2]

Between 1962 and 1978 Blix was a member of the Swedish delegation at the Disarmament Conference in Geneva. He held several other positions in the Swedish administration between 1963 and 1976, and from 1961 to 1981 served on the Swedish delegation to the United Nations. From 1978 to 1979, Blix was the Swedish Foreign Minister.

Blix chaired the Swedish Liberal Party's campaign during the 1980 referendum on nuclear power, campaigning in favor of retention of the Swedish nuclear energy program.

Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (1981-1997)

Blix became Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency between 1981 and 1997 after Sigvard Eklund. He personally made repeated inspection visits to the Iraqi nuclear reactor Osiraq before its attempted destruction by the Iranians, in 1980, and its eventual destruction by the Israeli Air Force in 1981 during Operation Opera. Although most agreed that Iraq was years away from being able to build a nuclear weapon, the Iranians and the Israelis felt any raid must occur well before nuclear fuel was loaded to prevent nuclear fallout. The attack was regarded as being in breach of the United Nations Charter (S/RES/487) and international law and was widely condemned.

Iraq was alternately praised and admonished by the IAEA for its cooperation and lack thereof. It was only after the first Gulf War that the full extent of Iraq's nuclear programs, which had switched from a plutonium based weapon design to a highly enriched uranium design after the destruction of Osiraq, became known.

Iraq disarmament crisis (2002-2003)

During the Iraq disarmament crisis before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Blix was called back from retirement by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to lead United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission in charge of monitoring Iraq. Kofi Annan originally recommended Rolf Ekéus, who worked with UNSCOM in the past, but both Russia and France vetoed his appointment. Newt Gingrich stated that approving Blix as chief UN weapons inspector was one of the biggest mistakes the United States ever made.[citation needed]

Hans Blix personally admonished Saddam for "cat and mouse" games [3] and warned Iraq of "serious consequences" if it attempted to hinder or delay his mission [4].

In his report to the UN Security Council on 14 February 2003, Blix claimed that "If Iraq had provided the necessary cooperation in 1991, the phase of disarmament -- under resolution 687 -- could have been short and a decade of sanctions could have been avoided." [5]

Blix's statements about the Iraq WMD program came to contradict the claims of the George W. Bush administration, [6] and attracted a great deal of criticism from supporters of the invasion of Iraq. In an interview on BBC TV on 8 February 2004, Dr. Blix accused the US and British governments of dramatising the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the regime of Saddam Hussein. Ultimately, no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were found. [7]

In an interview with London's Guardian newspaper, Hans Blix said, "I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media" [8].

In 2004, Blix published a book, Disarming Iraq, where he gives his account of the events and inspections before the coalition began its invasion.

Blix said he suspected his home and office were bugged by the United States, while he led teams searching for Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction.[3]Although these suspicions were never directly substantiated, evidence of bugging of UN security council representatives around the time the US was seeking approval from the council came to light after a British government translator leaked a document "allegedly from an American National Security Agency" requesting that British intelligence put wiretaps on delegates to the UN security council.[4]

Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission

Since 2003 Blix has been chair of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (WMDC), an independent body funded by the Swedish government and based in Stockholm [9].

In December 2006, the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission said in a report that Pakistan’s infamous and controversial nuclear proliferator Abdul Qadeer Khan could not have acted alone or “without the awareness of the Pakistani government.[5]

Humanitarian initiatives

In 2009 joined the project "Soldiers of Peace", a movie against all wars and for a global peace. [6][7]

Head of Advisory Board for United Arab Emirates Nuclear Program

Mr. Blix will chair a panel of advisors who will oversee the establishment of the UAE’s Dh150 billion atomic energy programme. He will lead the nine-person board, which will meet twice a year. The International Advisory Board (IAB) will oversee progress of the nation’s nuclear energy plan and issue reports on potential improvements to the scheme. The IAB is expected to hold its first meeting later this month and will include other distinguished nuclear experts, such as Lady Barbara Judge, the chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority.


Cultural references

  • Hans Blix is parodied in Team America: World Police, where he is fed to (essentially harmless) nurse sharks by Kim Jong-il, Dictator of North Korea.
  • Hans Blix appeared in the documentaries The World According to Bush [10] and Europe & USA: Behind the Scenes of a Political Rupture [11] .
  • Hans Blix appears in David Hare's political play Stuff Happens.
  • Hans Blix is mentioned in Pain Of Salvation's song "America", from the album Scarsick.
  • Hans Blix is mentioned in Irish parody rock band Biggus Diccus' 2010 song "Weapons Of Ass Destruction", in which the Invasion of Iraq is compared to an act of seduction. [12]


  • Disarming Iraq, Hans Blix, Pantheon (9 March, 2004). ISBN 0-375-42302-8
  • Why Nuclear Disarmament Matters, Hans Blix, The MIT Press (30 April, 2008). ISBN 0-262-02644-9

See also

External links


  1. ^ 2002 Friedmann Award Given to Dr. Hans Blix http://www.law.columbia.edu/media_inquiries/news_events/2002/friedmann_2002 Retrieved 3/21/07
  2. ^ http://www.wmdcommission.org/sida.asp?ID=33 Retrieved 3/21/07
  3. ^ "Blix suspected U.S. spied on him". cnn. http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/02/28/un.britain/index.html. Retrieved 2007-09-20. 
  4. ^ "Iraq war 'spy memo case' collapses". cnn. http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/02/25/uk.gchq/index.html. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  5. ^ "A Q Khan did not act alone" says Hans Blix team[1]
  6. ^ "Hans Blix — The Cast — Soldiers of Peace". Soldiersofpeacemovie.com. http://www.soldiersofpeacemovie.com/about/the-cast/16/dr-hans-blix/. Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  7. ^ "Soldati di Pace (Soldiers of Peace)". Soldatidipace.blogspot.com. 2009-10-18. http://www.soldatidipace.blogspot.com/. Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  8. ^ "Nuke-hunter Blix awarded Sydney Peace Prize". ABC News Online. May 21, 2007. http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200705/s1928488.htm. 
  9. ^ [2] Congregation of the Regent House on 25 June 2007
Government offices
Preceded by
Karin Söder
Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs
1978 – 1979
Succeeded by
Ola Ullsten
Preceded by
Sigvard Eklund
Director General of the IAEA
1981 – 1997
Succeeded by
Mohamed ElBaradei
Preceded by
Executive Chairman of the UNMOVIC
2000 – 2003
Succeeded by
Demetrius Perricos


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Hans Blix (born June 28, 1928), Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs 197879, Director General of the IAEA 198197, Executive Chairman of the UNMOVIC 200003.


  • It was to do with information management. The intention was to dramatise it.
    • BBC TV's Breakfast With Frost, February 8, 2004
  • I found it peculiar that those who wanted to take military action could — with 100 per cent certainty — know that the weapons existed and turn out to have zero knowledge of where they were.
    • from an unnamed Swedish radio program, quoted in Mirror.co.uk, "Blix Blasts 'Illegal' US War on Iraq", August 7, 2003 [1]
  • I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media.
  • … there are people in this administration who say they don't care if the UN sinks under the East river, and other crude things…
    • The Guardian, ibid.
  • It's true the Iraqis misbehaved and had no credibility but that doesn't necessarily mean that they were in the wrong.
    • The Guardian, "One last warning from the man who made an enemy of Bush", June 11, 2003 [3]
  • But in the Middle Ages people were convinced there were witches. They looked for them and they certainly found them.
    • BBC News, "Blix criticises UK's Iraq dossier", September 18, 2003 [4]
    • referring to the British and American governments' insistence that there are WMD in Iraq after Blix had already concluded and reported there was nothing to be found
  • There was a very consistent creation of a virtual reality, and eventually it collided with our old-fashioned, ordinary reality.
    • On the U.S. attitude regarding alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction as a justification for U.S. military action, as quoted widely in the media including the Boston Globe article "Newsview: U.S. reports no weapons in Iraq", September 18, 2004 [5]

Quotes of others about Blix

  • Personally, Mr. Blix is amiable and has a sense of humor; politically he is weak and easily fooled. I can think of few European officials less suitable for a showdown with Saddam. Indeed, it is with utter disbelief that I watch television news about Mr. Blix's negotiations with the Iraqi dictator's henchmen. [...] Regardless of how this crisis develops from this point, the United Nations has neglected its duties by asking a wimp to lead the inspectors who are supposed to stand up to the brute of Baghdad.
    • Per Ahlmark, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden (Liberal Party), in The Washington Times, November 1, 2002. [6]
  • "He's as reliable as a Volvo." Colin Powell

External links

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