UN arms inspectors had private interviews with three Iraqi scientists on Friday, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry and a UN spokesman said.
"Private interviews with three Iraqi specialists were conducted today without the presence of officials from the (Iraqi) National Monitoring Directorate," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Two of the scientists were interviewed by inspectors from the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), while the third was questioned by experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Each interview lasted between two and a half hours and three anda half hours, the statement said.
Hiro Ueki, spokesman for the UNMOVIC and the IAEA in Baghdad, confirmed the interviews on Friday, while identifying the scientists as a senior scientist, a missile expert and a chemical engineer respectively.
Both Ueki and Amer al-Saadi, a senior adviser to Iraqi PresidentSaddam Hussein, confirmed on Thursday that the inspectors held their first private interview with an Iraqi scientist.
On Friday, Mohamed ElBaradei, who heads the IAEA, called for a "drastic change" in Iraq's cooperation with the inspections.
"We expect to see drastic change with regard to particular areas, the areas of surveillance flights, and the question of private interviews, these are the areas where it is important to move on," he said in Cyprus before heading for Baghdad.
ElBaradei, together with Hans Blix, who heads the UNMOVIC, will return to Baghdad on Saturday for fresh talks on Iraq's disarmament.
They are expected to deliver their updated reports to the UN Security Council on Feb. 14, when analysts term as a crucial momentfor peace or war.
A US-led war on Iraq looms large as the United States has stepped up its military buildup in the Gulf region.