24 September 2002
24 September 2002
9 September 2002
21 August 2002
15 March 2002
and, again, I defy anyone to say that this cruel and sadistic dictator should be allowed any possibility of getting his hands on chemical, biological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
weapon would be shortened and Iraq could produce a nuclear weapon in between one and two years.
Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) Assessment: 1999–2002
“Why now?” people ask. I agree that I cannot say that this month or next, even this year or next, Saddam will use his weapons. But I can say that if the international community, having made the call for disarmament, now, at this moment, at the point of decision, shrugs its shoulders and walks away, he will draw the conclusion that dictators faced with a weakening will always draw: that the international community will talk but not act, will use diplomacy but not force. We know, again from our history, that diplomacy not backed by the threat of force has never worked with dictators and never will.
24. In mid-2001 the JIC drew attention to what it described as a "step- change" in progress on the Iraqi missile programme over the previous two years. It was clear from intelligence that the range of Iraqi missiles which was permitted by the UN and supposedly limited to 150kms was being extended and that work was under way on larger engines for longer-range missiles.
25. In early 2002 the JIC concluded that Iraq had begun to develop missiles with a range of over 1,000kms. The JIC assessed that if sanctions remained effective the Iraqis would not be able to produce such a missile before 2007. Sanctions and the earlier work of the inspectors had caused significant problems for Iraqi missile development. In the previous six months Iraqi foreign procurement efforts for the missile programme had been bolder. The JIC also assessed that Iraq retained up to 20 al-Hussein missiles from before the Gulf War.
If we take this course and if we refuse to implement the will of the international community, Saddam will carry on, his efforts will intensify, his confidence will grow and, at some point in a future not too distant, the threat will turn into reality. The threat therefore is not imagined. The history of Saddam and weapons of mass destruction is not American or British propaganda. The history and the present threat are real.
If people say, “Why should Britain care?”, I answer, “Because there is no way this man, in this region above all regions, could begin a conflict using such weapons and the consequences not engulf the whole world, including this country.” That, after all, is the reason the UN passed its resolutions. That is why it is right that the UN Security Council again makes its will and its unity clear and lays down a strong new UN resolution
The Iraqi ballistic missile programme since 1998
26. Since the Gulf War, Iraq has been openly developing two short- range missiles up to a range of 150km, which are permitted unde r UN Security Council Resolution 687. The al-Samoud liquid propellant missile has been extensively tested and is being deployed to military units. Intelligence indicates that at least 50 have been produced. Intelligence also indicates that Iraq has worked on extending its range to at least 200km in breach of UN Security Resolution 687. Production of the solid propellant Ababil-100 is also underway, probably as an unguided rocket at this stage. There are also plans to extend its range to at least 200km. Compared to liquid propellant missiles, those powered by solid propellant offer greater ease of storage, handling and mobility. They are also quicker to take into and out of action and can stay at a high state of readiness for longer periods.
27. According to intelligence, Iraq has retained up to 20 al-Hussein missiles, in breach of UN Security Council Resolution 687. These missiles were either hidden from the UN as complete systems, or re- assembled using illegally retained engines and other components. We judge that the engineering expertise available would allow these missiles to be maintained effectively, although the fact that at least some require re-assembly makes it difficult to judge exactly how many could be available for use. They could be used with conventional, chemical or biological warheads and, with a range of up to 650km, are capable of
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