Back to Work in Baghdad

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BAGHDAD: Former Marine captain Scott Ritter successfully inspected Iraqi weapons sites Friday, accompanied by the standard Iraqi escorts. It was business as usual for the UNSCOM inspector, whose branding as a spy by Baghdad reignited the inspection crisis in January -- and that means Kofi Annan's deal with Saddam has passed its first test.

"The Iraqis care more about getting sanctions lifted than about weapons inspections, and they know that if they cause trouble the U.S. will veto any attempt to lift sanctions," says TIME U.N. correspondent William Dowell. "It's a delicate issue, of course, because if they get the idea that the U.S. will never lift sanctions, the Iraqis will once again feel they have nothing to lose, and we'll be back in a crisis situation."

The next major test of the deal will come with the inspection of Iraq's presidential sites, which won't happen until UNSCOM chief Richard Butler, and the diplomatic chaperones, are in Baghdad -- not likely for at least another week. So far, so good, Kofi.