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Mr. Robathan: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Galloway: No, I will not give way any more.

Of course, the grenades did not hurt the deputy Prime Minister of Iraq at whom they were aimed, but they made some spectacular holes in the faces and bodies of the civilians who were in the crowd.

The Minister may say that he wants no part of that, although he did not quite say that on Radio 5. Does he think that that act of terrorism was unconnected with his meeting with the Opposition in London? Does he think that its timing was just a coincidence? Does he think that that will be the last act purchased, not by British money but by the $97 million voted by the US Congress for the armed overthrow of the Iraqi regime? Does he realise that that money will take us down the road that leads to the illegal mining of the harbours of Nicaragua by the Contras, to the Bay of Pigs fiasco, to the blowing up of hotel foyers in Cuba and to the obscurantist barbarism of present-day Kabul?

Mr. Robathan: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Galloway: I am not giving way again.

Does the Minister realise that the road down which he is taking us is illegal under the very legislation that our Government rushed through both Houses of Parliament during the summer? The Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Act 1998 makes it an offence under British law to plan or encourage others to plan to commit any act which would be illegal in any other country. I know that,

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because I was the person responsible for defeating the attempt made by the previous Government to introduce precisely that law.

Just what activities does the Minister imagine that the Iraqi Opposition, newly unified by him and refreshed by their $97 million, intend to plan from their bases in London? Would they be activities that are legal or illegal in Iraq? If the activities they plan are illegal in Iraq, will our Law Officers proceed to prosecute them?

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Will my hon. Friend give way?

Mr. Galloway: I am not giving way again.

If, as seems obvious, they do not prosecute, what will happen in the courts to any attempts to prosecute the madmen based in London who exhort others to fire upon tourists at Luxor or to murder Muslims at prayer in the mosques of Algeria? Does not the Minister know that what began with two hand grenades in Karbala will become car bombs in Baghdad, explosions in shopping malls in Mosul and carnage on the streets of Basra? Does he know that the process he unleashed on Monday is not only illegal under our laws but contrary to article 2 of the charter of the United Nations, paragraphs 4 and 7?It is contrary to the Arab states treaty against terrorism, signed by every Arab country, including Iraq, on 22 April this year and ratified by the Egyptian Parliament just last week.

Has the Minister seen the criticism of his new initiative from Amr Moussa, the Foreign Minister of Egypt, and from the League of Arab States? What does he have to say in response to that criticism? Will my right hon Friend say how he viewed the meeting yesterday at the US embassy in Grosvenor square between Martin Endick, the US Under-Secretary of State and the Iraqi opposition groups? Unlike Her Majesty's Government, the American Administration have pledged money and arms to our new friends. What were they discussing at the meeting yesterday? Were they planning how to use those arms? Why did the meeting take place in our capital city? Are our Government privy to the strategy that was being mapped out there?

That brings me to the nub of my argument, which is how far we have a policy of our own toward the Arabian Gulf and to what extent we are being subsumed in a crude, unsophisticated American policy which has done and will do great damage to our once pre-eminent position of influence in the middle east. We were guiding statecraft in the middle east when American cowboys were still ethnically cleansing red Indians.

Wherever I go in the middle east, our friends ask why we are following the USA so blindly. What is in it for us, they ask. They point, for example, to Kuwait, where Britain once had most of the business, and where now we have almost none. They point out that the Union Jack has been burned in the streets along with the Stars and Stripes in countries in which the BBC, the Beatles and Bobby Charlton were once considered the acme of all that was good in the western world.

The fact has not been missed in the middle east that there were no French aeroplanes lined up on the tarmac a fortnight ago to kill 10,000 Iraqis. There were no Italian planes, no Spanish, no German, no Dutch, no Canadian,

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no Australian, no Russian, no Chinese, no Saudi, no Syrian, no Egyptian, no Moroccan, no Algerian and no Tunisian. There were no planes from the Emirates, and none from Jordan. There was no one from the coalition mustered in 1991, except for John Bull and Uncle Sam. Everyone in the world was out of step, except our Johnnie.

If we really want to end the apparently perpetual cycle of crisis and suffering, and the threats of violence, there are measures that we can and must take. First, we need a new head of UNSCOM, a head who is respected by his colleagues, by the Security Council and in the region.

Mr. Dalyell: Hear, hear.

Mr. Galloway: It will surprise hon. Members and the country that no Arab inspectors are permitted in UNSCOM. That means no Saudi scientists or Jordanian engineers. Why? A new UNSCOM leadership must make the effort to build bridges in the region across which success may come.

Secondly, light at the end of the tunnel must be offered to the Iraqis in exchange for their co-operation. Why is it so difficult to produce an agreed file of what has been achieved during eight years of UNSCOM work? Thousands of weapons have been destroyed, many hundreds of sites have been inspected and a huge monitoring apparatus has been put in place. A file might help us to put in perspective that which has not yet been achieved.

I am among those who believe that UNSCOM has almost completely destroyed Iraq's non-conventional military capacity. I say that not because I trust the word of the Iraqi regime, but because it is not logical that Iraq would continue to endure its current agony in order to hide things that it could easily reproduce once sanctions had been lifted. The awfulness of non-conventional weapons is that they exist in the minds of scientists and engineers in all countries. Nor are Einsteins an essential requirement; a group of crazed Japanese terrorists operating from a greenhouse halfway up mount Fujiyama produced enough sarin nerve gas to massacre the population of Tokyo, and they had a delivery system--a human courier--to introduce it to the Tokyo subway.

What is to prevent the Iraqi President from building up an arsenal again? The short answer is that we can do as much or as little to prevent that as we can to stop any dictator becoming over-powerful. Does the Indonesian dictatorship possess weapons of mass destruction? Yes, it does. Does it occupy other people's territory illegally? Yes, it does. Are we starving the Indonesian people, and proposing to bombard them until they give that territory up? No, we are not. The previous Government sold Indonesia all the arms it could buy, and even our Government have not placed a military sales embargo on Indonesia.

UNSCOM should provide a clear list of sites that it wishes to visit. That list can be as long as UNSCOM likes, but once the sites have been inspected and cleared, the matter must be at an end. Of course international monitoring of Iraq will have to continue. Of course an embargo on weapons and military hardware should remain. I have always been in favour of a military

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embargo on Iraq, unlike the Conservative party. However, only when the murderous economic sanctions are finally lifted will the Iraqi people be able to breathe again.

Mr. Dalyell: UNSCOM tells us that it visited 496 sites, but found no violation.

Mr. Galloway: That is correct. It also inspected all the presidential sites. I remember the maps that were brought to the House. We were told that the presidential sites were bigger than Paris, but they turned out to be smaller than Paddington. They turned out to be rather smaller than the presidential sites occupied by our royal family in London, never mind the presidential sites that that family occupies outside the capital. I am against all palaces, and I am glad that the Iraqi ones have been searched, but absolutely nothing was found in them, despite their elevation into a casus belli in February. The sites have been searched over and over. Cameras have been placed on them, but there are no violations.

Let UNSCOM produce a list as long as it likes, so long as, once the list has been exhausted, there is no more moving of the goalposts, and no more pulling of rabbits from hats as excuses for continuing the agony. Only breathing men or women free of constant fear of hunger, illness and disease can turn their minds to politics, and to the need for democratic change in their country. That democratic change is sorely needed in Iraq.

11.56 am

Mr. Dale Campbell-Savours (Workington): I want to clarify one point, which is whether anything was found. Let me tell my hon. Friends the Members for Glasgow, Kelvin (Mr. Galloway) and for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) exactly what has been found. Since 1991, in carrying out its mandate under United Nations Security Council resolution 687, the UN Special Commission has destroyed or made harmless a supergun, 48 Scud missiles, 40,000 chemical munitions, 690 tonnes of CW agents, 3,000 tonnes of precursor chemicals, and biological warfare-related factories and equipment. The International Atomic Energy Agency found a nuclear weapons programme far more advanced than suspected, and dismantled it.

My hon. Friend the Member for Kelvin made an interesting speech, and my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow also intervened. However, both my hon. Friends make it their policy in the Chamber to make statements that are simply not true. When we consider in detail the allegations that my hon. Friends make, and when we research the documents that they should have researched, we find that the truth bears no resemblance to their statements.

My hon. Friend the Member for Kelvin wrote off the comments made by Mr. Sami Salih, but that man seems to me to have been particularly well connected. He knew all the people involved, and he talked of a series of front companies managed by his friend that were responsible for the importation of defence and military equipment in breach of sanctions, and paid for from revenues for oil exported through Iranian waters and through the port of Dubai. Saddam Hussein has clearly constructed a mechanism by which to employ people to export oil in breach of sanctions to raise money to fund an internal weapons programme. That is a perfectly legitimate target for UNSCOM. We need to know what is going on.

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My hon. Friend the Member for Kelvin spoke as if there were no threat. Saddam Hussein presents a threat to people in Iraq, and to other people. My hon. Friend said that no aircraft were involved in the multi-country operation last week, but there may be a simple reason for that: many countries may not be prepared to be identified as involved in actions against Iraq for fear of Scud or chemical weapons attacks on them. If I lived in a neighbouring country, that would be my view.

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