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Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 14th July 2004 - page 85 / 216





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the aftermath of the Gulf War,then again in 1998,the fact that he had actual ly used chemical weapons . . . my view was and still is that you have to take a stand,yo u have to say “Right we are not going to allow the development of WMD in breach of the will of the international community to continue” . . .


Now you have different strategies for different countries. In respect of Iraq it’s going back to where we were before the inspectors were kicked out . . .


The papers show that, of the four continuing themes set out at paragraph 269 above, sustaining the pressure on the Iraqi regime and the need for effective presentational activity were discussed between the Prime Minister and President Bush at Crawford; and the Prime Minister reverted to the need to get United Nations inspectors back into Iraq in his speech on 7 April following those discussions:

. . . the moment for decision on how to act is not yet with us. But to allow WMD to be developed by a state like Iraq without let or hindrance would be grossly to ignore the lessons of September 11 and we will not do it. The message to Saddam is clear: he has to let the inspectors back in,anyone,any time,any place that the inter national community demands.

[Prime Minister, George Bush Senior Presidential Library, 7 April 2002]

  • 287.

    The next key stage was a meeting on 23 July chaired by the Prime Minister with those Ministers and officials primarily involved in UK policy formulation and military contingency planning. This meeting considered, on the basis of a briefing from the Chairman of the JIC, the current intelligence assessment of Iraq’s nuclear, biological, chemical and ballistic missile programmes, noting that Iraqi capabilities were smaller in scale than those of other states of concern. The meeting discussed the re-engagement of United Nations inspectors, against the background of intelligence advice that the Iraqi regime would allow inspectors into Iraq only when the threat of military action was thought to be real. It also commissioned work on legal issues.

  • 288.

    The role of the United Nations - in building an international consensus on the need for action to tackle Iraq’s prohibited weapons programmes; in the re-engagement of inspectors to investigate the extent and scale of those programmes; and ultimately in providing legitimacy for any military action to enforce disarmament - was discussed further at a meeting between the Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State Powell at a meeting at the Hamptons, New York, on 20 August 2002, and between the Prime Minister and the President at Camp David on 7 September 2002. It is clear from the departmental papers we have seen that the UK championed the role of the United Nations at that meeting.



It is clear to us from departmental papers and from the evidence we have heard that the Government became increasingly concerned in August and early September 2002 about the nature of the media debate in the UK (stimulated by the media debate in the US). The


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