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Iraq has blocked a UN weapons team from inspecting a site outside Baghdad, the Security Council was told last night. The news comes less than a month after Iraq promised unimpeded access. The council president, Alain Dejammet of France, summoned Iraq's UN envoy to complain, and council members rallied behind the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) in charge of scrapping Baghdad's weapons of mass destruction.

It was the first test of an agreement pledging access that the UNSCOM chief Rolf Ekeus reached with the Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz on 22 June after UN weapons inspectors had been barred from several sites. Mr Ekeus said the UN team had to return to their base on Tuesday after being told a road they wished to use passed through a "presidential area". Reuter - New York