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Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 14th July 2004 - page 63 / 216

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188.

Thus, as with assessments of Iraq’s chemical weapons programme, notwithstanding the JIC’s assessment in February 1998 that:

UNSCOM and the IAEA have succeeded in destroying or controlling the vast majority of Saddam’s 1991 weapons of mass destruction (WMD) capability. [JIC, 4 February 1998]

the JIC concluded later that year that:

Some biological warfare (BW) production equipment,stocks of agents and e ven weapons are probably retained by Iraq.

[JIC, 24 September 1998]

189.

We conclude that the impression left by JIC assessments in the mind of readers at the time of departure of United Nations inspectors will have been of concern about Iraq’s break- out capability, coupled with possible biological agent stockpiles, in breach of its United Nations obligations.

IRAQ’S BALLISTIC MISSILE PROGRAMME

190.

As with its assessments on Iraq’s chemical weapons programme, JIC assessments on Iraq’s ballistic missile capabilities in the period before the first Gulf war were done on what was effectively a worst case basis. The JIC did not make this explicitly clear, although it did caution that:

There are considerable uncertainties about Iraq’s current ballistic missile capability and deployments.

[JIC, 20 September 1990]

191.

Given these uncertainties, the JIC could only provide an estimate which, in September 1990, was that Iraq had a stockpile of “about 700” ballistic missiles. The JIC broke down this figure between the three primary SCUD-based missile systems, concluding that:

. . . there could be about 300 SCUD-B missiles . . .

that:

The Iraqis may have converted some 250 SCUD-B missiles to the longer-range Al Hussein variant.

and that:

The second SCUD derivative is the Al-Abbas missile,of which the Iraqis cou ld now have up to 150.

[JIC, 20 September 1990]

192.

In the event, the Al Abbas was probably never deployed operationally, although it underwent a number of flight tests. No Al Abbas missiles were fired in the first Gulf war, and UNSCOM made no mention of them in their Final Report of January 1999. At the time of production of the assessment, there was much uncertainty not only over the number of ballistic missiles available to Iraq but also over the status of the domestically-modified

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