Former chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said on Saturday he suspected the United States bugged his office and home in the run-up to the Iraq war, but had no hard evidence.

Blix told the UK guardian that he went to extreme lengths to protect his office and his home, enlisting a UN counter surveillance team to sweep both for bugs. Blix’s suspicions were raised when he had trouble with a telephone connection at home. He said that if he wanted to have a safe conversation, he would go to a public place, out on the street or in a restaurant.

Blix has long been skeptical about whether Iraq had alleged weapons of mass destruction. He urged British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush to be more open to the evidence emerging from Iraq.

Another Former Weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, who resigned in 1998, says that the United States government has long been determined to have the public believe that Iraq was a grave threat; because of this, it’s in the governments best interest to keep tabs on weapons inspectors.

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Hans Blix's accusations of spying came after former British cabinet minister Clare Short, who resigned last May in protest against Blair's Iraq policy, claimed Thursday that US-British intelligence bugged the office of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Also last week, Blix’s former chief weapons inspector Richard Butler who said that he was forced to go for walks in New York's Central Park for confidential discussions with his contacts because his UN office phones were bugged.

Blix’s new book, Disarming Iraq: the Search for Weapons of Mass Destruction, is due out in March.

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