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24 September 2002

programme and, by this year, Iraq’s development of weapons with a range of more than 1,000 km was well under way; and that hundreds of people are employed in that programme, facilities are being built and equipment procured—usually clandestinely. Sanctions and import controls have hindered the programme, but only slowed its progress. The capability being developed, incidentally, is for multi- purpose use, including with WMD warheads.

That is the assessment, given to me, of the Joint Intelligence Committee. In addition, we have well founded intelligence to tell us that Saddam sees his WMD programme as vital to his survival and as a demonstration of his power and influence in the region.

There will be some who will dismiss all this. Intelligence is not always right. For some of the material, there might be innocent explanations. There will be others who say rightly that, for example, on present going, it could be several years before Saddam acquires a usable nuclear weapon—though if he were able to purchase fissile matériel illegally, it would be only a year or two. But let me put it at its simplest: on this 11- year history, with this man Saddam; with this accumulated, detailed intelligence available; with what we know and what we can reasonably speculate, would the world be wise to leave the present situation undisturbed—to say that, despite 14 separate UN demands on the issue, all of which Saddam is in breach of, we should do nothing, and to conclude that we should trust, not to the good faith of the UN weapons inspectors, but to the good faith of the current Iraqi regime? I do not believe

24 September 2002 and has continued to produce chemical and biological agents. Iraq has:

chemical and biological agents and weapons available, both from pre-Gulf War stocks and more recent production;


the capability to produce the chemical agents mustard gas, tabun, sarin, cyclosarin, and VX capable of producing mass casualties;


a biological agent production capability and can produce at least anthrax, botulinum toxin, aflatoxin and ricin. Iraq has also developed mobile facilities to produce biological agents;


a variety of delivery means available;


military forces, which maintain the capability to use these weapons with command, control and logistical arrangements in place.



Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) Assessments: 1999–2001

17. Since 1999 the JIC has monitored Iraq's attempts to reconstitute its nuclear weapons programme. In mid-2001 the JIC assessed that Iraq had continued its nuclear research after 1998. The JIC drew attention to intelligence that Iraq had recalled its nuclear scientists to the programme in 1998. Since 1998 Iraq had been trying to procure items that could be for use in the construction of centrifuges for the enrichment of uranium.

Iraqi nuclear weapons expertise

18. The IAEA dismantled the physical infrastructure of the Iraqi nuclear weapons programme, including the dedicated facilities and equipment for uranium separation and enrichment, and for weapon development and production, and removed the remaining highly enriched uranium. But Iraq retained, and retains, many of its experienced nuclear scientists and technicians who are specialised in the production of fissile material and weapons design. Intelligence indicates that Iraq also retains the accompanying programme documentation and data.

19. Intelligence shows that the present Iraqi programme is almost certainly seeking an indigenous ability to enrich uranium to the level needed for a nuclear weapon. It indicates that the approach is based on gas centrifuge uranium enrichment, one of the routes Iraq was following for producing fissile material before the Gulf War. But Iraq needs certain key equipment, including gas centrifuge components and components for the production of fissile material before a nuclear bomb could be developed.

20. Following the departure of weapons inspectors in 1998 there has

9 September 2002

dealing with Al Qaida (extremists are conducting low-level work on toxins in an area of northern Iraq outside Saddam’s control). Al Qaida could carry out proxy attacks and would require little encouragement to do so. Saddam’s intelligence agencies have some experience in the use of poisons and even small-scale attacks could have a significant psychological impact. Intelligence indicates that Saddam has specifically commissioned a team of scientists to devise novel means of deploying CBW.

Possible scenarios: at the death In the last resort Saddam is likely to order the indiscriminate use of whatever chemical and biological weapons remain available to him, in a last attempt to cling on to power or to cause as much damage as possible in a final act of vengeance. If he has not already done so by this stage Saddam will launch CBW attacks on Israel. Implementation of such orders would depend on the delivery means still remaining, the survivability of the command chain and the willingness of commanders to obey.

21 August 2002

15 March 2002


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