24 September 2002
24 September 2002
9 September 2002
21 August 2002
15 March 2002
information available to me, the UK Government has been right to support the demands that this issue be confronted and dealt with. We must ensure that he does not get to use the weapons he has, or get hold of the weapons he wants. HOUSE OF COMMONS, TUESDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2002
The Prime Minister: Mr Speaker, thank you for recalling Parliament to debate the best way to deal with the issue of the present leadership of Iraq and weapons of mass destruction.
Today we published a 50-page dossier, detailing the history of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programme, its breach of United Nations resolutions, and its attempts to rebuild that illegal programme. I have placed a copy in the Library.
At the end of the Gulf war, the full extent of Saddam’s chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programmes became clear. As a result, the United Nations passed a series of resolutions, demanding that Iraq disarm itself of such weapons and establishing a regime of weapons inspections and monitoring to do the task. The inspectors were to be given unconditional and unrestricted access to all and any Iraqi sites.
All this is accepted fact. In addition, it is fact, documented by UN inspectors, that Iraq almost immediately began to obstruct the inspections. Visits were delayed; on occasions, inspectors threatened; matériel was moved; special sites, shut to the inspectors, were unilaterally designated by Iraq. The work of the inspectors continued, but against a background of increasing obstruction and non-compliance.
including against its own (Kurdish) citizens; the progress of its nuclear programme by 1991; its ballistic missile programmes; its use of such missiles during the first Gulf war; and Iraq’s admission to UNSCOM of having had chemical and biological warheads available for its ballistic missiles.]
13. Based on the UNSCOM report to the UN Security Council in January 1999 and earlier UNSCOM reports, we assess that when the UN inspectors left Iraq they were unable to account for:
up to 360 tonnes of bulk chemical warfare agent, including 1.5 tonnes of VX nerve agent; up to 3,000 tonnes of precursor chemicals, including approximately 300 tonnes which, in the Iraqi chemical warfare programme, were unique to the production of VX; growth media procured for biological agent production (enough to produce over three times the 8,500 litres of anthrax spores Iraq admits to having manufactured); over 30,000 special munitions for delivery of chemical and biological agents.
14. The departure of UNSCOM meant that the international community was unable to establish the truth behind these large discrepancies and greatly diminished its ability to monitor and assess Iraq’s continuing attempts to reconstitute its programmes.
CHAPTER 3: The Current Position: 1998–2002 (extract)
1. This chapter sets out what we know of Saddam Hussein’s chemical, biological, nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, drawing on all the available evidence. While it takes account of the results from UN inspections and other publicly available information, it also draws heavily on the latest intelligence about Iraqi efforts to develop their programmes and capabilities since 1998. The main conclusions are that:
Iraq has a useable chemical and biological weapons capability, in breach of UNSCR 687, which has included recent production of chemical and biological agents;
Saddam continues to attach great importance to the possession of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles which he regards as being the basis for Iraq's regional power. He is determined to retain these capabilities;
Iraq can deliver chemical and biological agents using an extensive range of artillery shells, free-fall bombs, sprayers and ballistic missiles;
bombs and battlefield rockets; Iraq told UNSCOM in the 1990s that it filled 25 warheads with anthrax, botulinum toxin and aflatoxin for its Al Hussein ballistic missile (range 650km). Iraq also admitted it had developed 50 chemical warheads for Al Hussein. We judge Iraq retains up to 20 Al Husseins and a limited number of launchers; Iraq is also developing short-range systems Al Samoud/Ababil 100 ballistic missiles (range 150km plus) – One intelligence report suggests that Iraq has “lost” the capability to develop warheads capable of effectively disseminating chemical and biological agent and that it would take six months to overcome the “technical difficulties”. However, both these missile systems are currently being deployed with military units and an emergency operational capability with conventional warheads is probably available; Iraq may have other toxins, chemical and biological agents that we do not know about; the effectiveness of any CBW attack would depend on the method of delivery, concentration of the target, dissemination efficiency, meteorological conditions and the
coalition forces at some point, probably after coalition attacks had begun. Iraqi CBW use would become increasingly likely the closer coalition forces came to Baghdad. Military targets might include troop concentrations or important fixed targets in rear areas such as ports and airfields.
Alternative scenarios and at the death It is also possible that Saddam might pursue an extreme course of action at an earlier stage than we have envisaged . . . In particular, unorthodox options might include:
The early or pre- emptive use of CBW Because of the time lag between infection and incapacitation, there is some incentive to use biological weapons early. Coalition forces would also be most geographically concentrated
allow these missiles to be effectively maintained.
Iraq is seeking to develop new, larger liquid and solid propellant missiles, contrary to UN limits. Recent intelligence indicates personnel associated with the Al Samoud programme have now been tasked to concentrate on designing liquid propellant systems with ranges of 2000-3000km. New intelligence indicates the main focus may be on the development of a SCUD derivative, which we judge has an intended range of around 1200km. Work on an engine for this system began in 1998, involving personnel who had been reviewing the details of previous Al Hussein production since 1995, although by the end of the year 2000 they were still experiencing technical problems. Additional personnel were probably assigned to other parts of the programme during 2000. A large static test stand capable of testing liquid propellant engines bigger than the SCUD engine has been under construction since mid-2000, probably in support of this programme. Work on large motor cases for longer-range solid propellant systems has been noted over the last 2-3 years. Providing sanctions remain effective, Iraq is unlikely to be able to produce a longer-range missile before 2007.
Despite retaining engineers with expertise in missile design and production, UN sanctions and the work of the inspectors have caused significant problems for Iraq’s missile industry in acquiring components and production technology, in particular for improving guidance and control systems and therefore missile accuracy. Iraq is actively seeking to procure materials for its missile programme.
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