Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Ninth Report


Postscript: post-conflict Iraq

The search for weapons of mass destruction

170. Months after the cessation of the military phase of operations in Iraq, no conclusive evidence has come to light that the regime did indeed possess weapons of mass destruction. The question arises, why were these weapons not used, assuming they existed at all? This is at once one of the most difficult and one of the most important questions the Government has to answer.

171. The assumption that chemical or biological weapons would be used caused military planners to assume that such weapons would be found in the course of the war.[235] None was found, although there was some evidence that the Iraqi forces were prepared to protect themselves from their effects. Neither have any been discovered since the military phase ended; this includes artillery shells which might have been capable of being deployed within 45 minutes of an order to use them

172. Dr Samore described what he felt was Saddam Hussein's miscalculation on this point:

It was clear to me that Iraq was trying to provide just enough co-operation with the inspectors to keep the Security Council divided and to try to deny Washington and London a rationale for going to war, but not so much co-operation that they actually truly opened up the books and gave up whatever capabilities they were hiding. I think Saddam's effort to balance those conflicting objectives ended up being part of the reason why he was doomed.[236]

173. Terence Taylor described the difficulties he had faced as a Chief Inspector in the 1990s:

Generally, on my inspections we were allowed access. There were some difficulties sometimes, but they were usually overcome through negotiations. So, generally speaking at least on my part, there were no limitations on the access; I could go more or less where I wanted. Of course, they had a comprehensive concealment plan. They also were monitoring our communications and also they had penetrated UNSCOM from New York right the way through to Baghdad. So, we had this challenge that we had to face. We knew this and so we had to try to deal with this situation and we had to be very creative about how we went about our inspections, in order of course to achieve surprise.[237]

174. The Iraqis also practised concealment techniques, and had dual-use facilities which could switch from the production of legitimate chemical and biological products to the manufacture of chemical and biological warfare agents.[238] It is surprising, though, that there have been no indications of attempts by Iraq rapidly to disperse stocks of chemical and biological weapons. In his oral evidence to us, Dr Inch told us that he was "totally confused" by reports that Iraq still had large quantities of such weapons: "It is very difficult to see where it has all gone in such a short space of time, particularly when such movements, I would have thought, would have been monitored by our total air superiority. You cannot move that amount of weaponry around without seeing it, I would not have thought."[239]

175. William Ehrman, Director General Defence/Intelligence at the FCO told us that "All of the sites listed in the [September] dossier were visited by UNMOVIC inspectors, and most revealed—to a greater or lesser extent—an intent to develop prohibited programmes." He went on to list what had been found at these sites.[240]

176. Since the UNMOVIC inspectors left as hostilities commenced, however, efforts by coalition forces to find evidence of Iraq's WMD programmes have been unsuccessful. Gary Samore suggested why this might be so:

… they had set up special groups to search for and secure such weapons. In the US case it was called the 75th Exploitation Team. They were given a list of sites which the US government believed could be storage sites for chemical and biological weapons. All of those turned out to be inaccurate and all turned out not to have such weapons. It was only then that Washington and London realised they were going to have to put together a much more sophisticated detective operation to look at documents, interview people, do further forensic testing, and that has taken some time, it has taken months to get that organisation up and running. Even now I think they are just beginning the work. If I can just add, for perfectly understandable reasons, Washington and London have been focusing their efforts in Iraq not on hunting for weapons of mass destruction or for associated equipment and materials but on trying to secure stability and defeat the remnants of the previous regime. It is perfectly understandable but unfortunately, as a consequence, we have probably lost a couple of months and the looters have probably cleaned out a lot of evidence. So it may be difficult to come to final conclusions in a number of those areas.[241]

177. The lack of success in finding evidence of WMD has led the coalition to set up the Iraq Survey Group. This is "composed of a large number of specialists with the right kind of scientific and technical expertise and including a significant number of personnel with substantial experience of inspections in Iraq."[242] Dr Samore gave his view of why it had taken so long to set up the Survey Group:

I actually think they have been a bit late getting off the ground because Washington and London thought they were going to find chemical and biological weapons in the field in the course of the conflict. When that did not happen it has taken a while to set up an organisation that will have to do much more difficult work to try to trace through documents and interviews and so forth what kind of capabilities Iraq might have had, including, if not stocks of chemical and biological weapons then possibly the kind of equipment and material that would be necessary to produce them at some time in the future.[243]

He pointed out the difficulties which will face the Survey Group:

… it would be very difficult for the inspectors to find anything because, to the extent that Iraq had retained stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, they would both be small enough and probably mobile enough for them to move them around in a way that would make it very hard for the inspectors to find them.[244]

178. Mr Taylor suggested that it could still take some time to find weapons facilities, even once the scientists involved in the programmes have been questioned:

Even the scientists at the senior level would certainly not know where the weapons were. They would know about research and development, they would know about possibly some production, they would know names of certain people, but the special security organisation which had the responsibility and some elements of the Special Republican Guard were the people that really knew. These were the hardest core part of the regime and that is really where I think those coalition members doing the investigation need to get to.[245]

179. Robin Cook called for the UNMOVIC inspectors to be sent back in:

I am deeply perplexed as to why we persist in denying access to the UNMOVIC inspectors. It seems to me if we want to establish any capability on the part of Saddam which the rest of the world can respect we do need to have the UN inspectors there to validate it. I can understand the Americans are probably not going to admit it because they have a long-standing hostility under the administration at the United Nations, but there is presumably no reason, and it is a perfectly fair question I would have thought to put to the Foreign Secretary, why we could not admit the UN inspectors to that sector of Iraq that we ourselves control.[246]

180. Against this, Terence Taylor thought that

… UNMOVIC is not structured to carry out this new mission, this fundamentally new mission, with a coalition in charge, with having to use all their intelligence resources and their interrogations of people coming in, offering security to them. They are about to deploy 1,200 and I think it could be up to 1,500 people, ten times the size of UNMOVIC, so it has to be led by the coalition and, with all the security implications, I think it makes it very difficult to include UNMOVIC as it is presently structured with the kind of people they have at the moment, they probably need some different kinds of people to do the missions.[247]

181. Dr Inch proposed a role for the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW):

182. There is the problem of inspection post-event, the importance of understanding the industrial processes and whether or not they can be easily diverted. There is the problem of obtaining analytical data which is totally rigorous and indisputable. The people most experienced in that now are the inspectors who routinely carry out industrial inspections, the OPCW in The Hague. … and I would also want to make sure that, for any final analysis, it went to the independent labs around the world which are trained up for those purposes.[248]

The justification for war

183. This inquiry into the information which the Government presented to Parliament in the period leading up to war in Iraq has focused on the two dossiers which were published in September 2002 and in February 2003. Although there were other papers, other speeches which did not refer to the dossiers, and other justifications offered for resorting to military action, it was these documents, and particularly the first, which were seen as forming the basis of the Government's case against the regime of Saddam Hussein.

184. On the evidence before us, we reject the serious allegations which have been made that the September dossier was the object of political interference. We conclude that the September dossier was probably as complete and accurate as the Joint Intelligence Committee could make it, consistent with protecting sources, but that it contained undue emphases for a document of its kind. We further conclude that the jury is still out on the accuracy of the September dossier until substantial evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, or of their destruction, is found.

185. On the second dossier, there can be no dispute that, whatever the accuracy of the information it contains, it was a disaster. We conclude that the February dossier was badly handled and was misrepresented as to its provenance and was thus counter-productive. The furore over the process by which the document was assembled and published diverted attention from its substance. This was deeply unfortunate, because the information it contained was important.

186. The central charge has been that Ministers misled Parliament. We have not been permitted to question the Prime Minister, although our Chairman and his colleagues on the Liaison Committee will have such an opportunity the day after we publish this Report. We have based our conclusions on the totality of the oral and written evidence available to us, alongside our own judgment as Members of Parliament who read or heard almost every word of the Government's case in the period leading up to the war. Consistent with the conclusions reached elsewhere in this Report, we conclude that Ministers did not mislead Parliament.

Appendix 1

BRIEFING NOTE FOR THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: IRAQ AND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

Introduction

A central element of the justification offered by the British and US Governments for military action against Iraq was the need to disarm the Saddam Hussein regime of its proscribed weapons of mass destruction (WMD).[249]

On 24 September 2002 the British Government published a dossier containing its assessment of Iraq's programmes to develop WMD (the 'September Dossier').[250] The dossier drew on existing publicly available information, such as UN reports and testimony from Iraqi defectors, and on analysis of secret intelligence sources.[251] The executive summary declared that the judgements made in the report "reflect[ed] the views of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)."[252] The Prime Minister declared in the foreword that: "I and other Ministers have been briefed in detail on the intelligence and are satisfied as to its authority."[253]

An organagram of the United Kingdom's national intelligence machinery showing the lines of ministerial responsibility is included as Annex 1.

A further dossier released by the Prime Minister's Office on 3 February 2003 provided information on the infrastructure put in place by the Iraqi regime to conceal its WMD programmes (the 'February Dossier').[254] The introduction stated that the document drew on a number of sources, "including intelligence material". Some media commentators have labelled it the "dodgy dossier" due to its apparent reliance on, and rewording of, academic articles[255] and the reported absence of ministerial consultation prior to publication.

Since the conflict in Iraq, responsibility for investigating Iraq's alleged WMD programmes has been assumed by Coalition weapons inspectors from the USA, UK and Australia, in place of the previous UN inspection teams. Inspections of around 230 suspected sites have uncovered little evidence of proscribed weapons and materials, and the process was relaunched in late May with an increased number of personnel and an expanded mandate. The focus has reportedly shifted to the interrogation of officials linked to Iraq's WMD programmes in an attempt to obtain further leads.

The British Government has expressed confidence that Coalition inspections will find WMD in Iraq, Mr Blair declaring on 4 June that: "I have absolutely no doubt at all that they will find the clearest possible evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."[256] He said Iraq had mounted a "concerted campaign of concealment of the weapons", which made it more difficult to reassemble those weapons, "but that does not in any shape or form dispute the original intelligence."[257]

There have been contradictory messages from members of the Bush administration on this question, with some echoing Mr Blair's confidence that evidence would be forthcoming. Yet Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on 17 April that he doubted any firm evidence of WMD would be found by the Coalition, adding on 27 May that: "It is also possible that they [the Iraqis] decided that they would destroy them prior to a conflict."[258]

The following briefing considers the evidence presented by the British Government in its September dossier and in subsequent statements in the House on the main elements of Iraq's proscribed WMD programmes. It then compares the evidence produced by other sources, including the US Government, independent think tanks, and the two UN bodies tasked with securing the disarmament of Iraq, UNMOVIC (previously UNSCOM) and the IAEA.[259]

A brief chronology of developments with regard to Iraq and its WMD programmes is provided in Annex 2.

Chemical Weapons

In its September Dossier the British Government set out the following conclusions drawn from publicly available information and its latest intelligence assessments:

Iraq has a useable chemical […] weapons capability […] which has included recent production of chemical […] agents;

Iraq can deliver chemical […] agents using an extensive range of artillery shells, free-fall bombs, sprayers and ballistic missiles;

Iraq 's current military planning specifically envisages the use of chemical […] weapons;

Iraq's military forces are able to use chemical and biological weapons, with command, control and logistical arrangements in place. The Iraqi military are able to deploy these weapons within 45 minutes of a decision to do so.[260]

The latter claim about 45 minutes was made three times in the document and was repeated by the Prime Minister during his Statement prior to the Debate of 24 September.[261] It was subsequently quoted by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw during a speech at Chatham House on 21 February:

Recent intelligence shows that Saddam's military plans envisage using chemical and biological weapons against a range of targets, including his own Shia population. Some of these weapons are deployable within 45 minutes of an order to use them.[262]

The claim attracted particular attention from media observers. Bronwen Maddox, the Foreign Editor of The Times, argued that it was "simply stupid of Blair to have made it", adding that:

In one sense, the allegation is simply a banal military estimate of the length of time for a launch command to pass down the chain. It is plausible that the Intelligence services made such a claim.

But it is hard to imagine that any Intelligence agent would have intended that calculation to be presented as flamboyantly as it was in the dossier, dominating the short foreword with its drama to justify the claim of imminent threat.[263]

Ibrahim al-Marashi, a research associate at Centre for Non-proliferation Studies in Monterey and author of one of the articles used in the February Dossier, was also critical of the 45-minute claim, arguing that:

No professional analyst would publish a figure such as this, based on only one source. This time span does not take into account the complicated Iraqi chain of command and the technical requirements needed to prepare and launch such a weapon.[264]

Mr Straw offered more detail on the source of the intelligence on 4 June:

The intelligence on 45 minutes came […] from an established and reliable source, not a defector, who has been reporting to us secretly for some years. The intelligence became available at the end of August. It was discussed by the Joint Intelligence Committee in the first week of September. It was included straight away in classified JIC documents. The fact that it had already been included in JIC assessments before its appearance in the public dossier puts in perspective the wilder accusations in the media.[265]

He also disputed that the reference to 45-minutes had been a significant factor in the decision of the House to support military action:

It is nonsense to suggest that the issue before the House on 18 March was whether a particular phrase in the dossier happened to be accurate. It was accurate—exactly in the terms used. However, I have been unable to find any speeches made on 17 or 18 March that even mention that 45-minute intelligence reference.[266]

Mr Blair declared on 4 June:

I want to make it clear to the House—I have spoken and conferred with the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee—that there was no attempt, at any time, by any official, or Minister, or member of No. 10 Downing street staff, to override the intelligence judgments of the Joint Intelligence Committee. That includes the judgment about the so-called 45 minutes. It was a judgment made by the Joint Intelligence Committee and by that committee alone.

He went on to say:

[…] the claims that have been made are simply false. In particular, the claim that the readiness of Saddam to use weapons within 45 minutes of an order to use them was a point inserted in the dossier at the behest of No. 10 is completely and totally untrue. Furthermore, the allegation that the 45-minute claim provoked disquiet among the intelligence community, which disagreed with its inclusion in the dossier […] is also completely and totally untrue. Instead of hearing from one or many anonymous sources, I suggest that if people have any evidence, they actually produce it.[267]

No evidence has emerged thus far, either during or after the conflict, to validate the Government's assertion.

Production Facilities

The September Dossier declared that: "Intelligence shows that Iraq has continued to produce chemical agent."[268] It noted that some facilities associated with Iraq's past chemical weapons programme had been rebuilt, including a potentially dual-use plant producing chlorine and phenol at Fallujah 2. New chemical facilities were also reported to have been built, some with "illegal foreign assistance". The Dossier drew particular attention to the phosgene plant at al-Qa'qa, which could have civilian purposes but could also be used to produce nerve agent precursor.

In his presentation to the Security Council on 5 February 2003, US Secretary of State Colin Powell declared:

We know that Iraq has embedded key portions of its illicit chemical weapons infrastructure within its legitimate civilian industry. To all outward appearances, even to experts, the infrastructure looks like an ordinary civilian operation. Illicit and legitimate production can go on simultaneously or on a dime. This dual-use infrastructure can turn from clandestine to commercial and then back again. […]

Under the guise of dual-use infrastructure, Iraq has undertaken an effort to reconstitute facilities that were closely associated with its past program to develop and produce chemical weapons.[269]

UN inspectors visited on several occasions the various sites highlighted by the US and British Governments, but reported no evidence of proscribed activity. Coalition inspection teams are currently conducting further investigations and testing at these and other sites.

Mustard Gas

According to the September Dossier, JIC assessments from mid-2001 concluded that:

Iraq retained some chemical warfare agents, precursors, production equipment and weapons from before the Gulf War. These stocks would enable Iraq to produce significant quantities of mustard gas within weeks.[270]

The independent think tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), concluded in its Strategic Dossier of 9 September 2002 that Iraq had probably retained a few hundred tonnes of mustard gas.[271]

14 artillery shells containing around 49 litres of previously declared mustard were destroyed by UNMOVIC in early 2003.[272] No further agent has been uncovered during the UN or Coalition inspections processes.

Nerve Agents

The September Dossier declared that Iraq had the capability to produce sarin, cyclosarin, and VX, adding that its pre-1991 stocks of materials, equipment and weapons would enable Iraq to produce significant quantities of nerve agent within months.[273]

IISS concluded in its Strategic Dossier that Iraq had probably retained precursors for a few hundred tonnes of sarin/cyclosarin and for perhaps a few hundred tonnes of VX from pre-1991 stocks.[274]

Dr Blix declared in late January that:

Iraq has declared that it only produced VX on a pilot scale, just a few tonnes and that the quality was poor and the product unstable. Consequently, it was said, that the agent was never weaponised. Iraq said that the small quantity of agent remaining after the Gulf War was unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991.

UNMOVIC, however, has information that conflicts with this account. There are indications that Iraq had worked on the problem of purity and stabilization and that more had been achieved than has been declared. Indeed, even one of the documents provided by Iraq indicates that the purity of the agent, at least in laboratory production, was higher than declared.

There are also indications that the agent was weaponised. In addition, there are questions to be answered concerning the fate of the VX precursor chemicals, which Iraq states were lost during bombing in the Gulf War or were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.[275]

Some progress in resolving the issue occurred in March after Iraq announced it was reopening a disposal site from 1991 where the unilateral destruction was reported to have occurred. The withdrawal of inspectors in mid-March cut the process short, although, as Dr Blix noted in May, it seemed unlikely that the excavation would have provided conclusive answers to UNMOVIC's questions due to the difficulties in establishing the exact amount of VX that had been destroyed at the site.[276] UNMOVIC also indicated that its primary concern over VX was not simply the quantity destroyed in 1991 but rather the retention by Iraq of precursors, know-how and the extent of the development of the programme in 1990.

No nerve agent or precursors have been declared found thus far by Coalition inspectors.

Chemical and Biological Munitions and Delivery Capability

The September Dossier stated that Iraq had "a variety of delivery means available" for chemical and biological agents, including free-fall bombs, artillery shells and rockets, helicopter and aircraft borne sprayers, ballistic missiles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). No details were offered on the estimated number of munitions, although the dossier drew attention to the 20,000 artillery munitions that had not been accounted for by UNSCOM/UNMOVIC. It also added: "It is probable that Iraq retains a capability for aerosol dispersal of both chemical and biological agent over a large area."[277]

Secretary of State Powell declared in February 2003: "Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough agent to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets."[278] He also showed an UNSCOM video purporting to show an Iraqi Mirage F-1 aircraft simulating the spraying of anthrax.

IISS concluded in its Strategic Dossier that Iraq could be capable of delivering chemical and biological agents in a variety of impact-fuse tactical munitions, such as artillery shells, rockets and aerial bombs, of which it could have as many as a few thousand.[279]

In January eighteen empty 122-mm chemical munitions were found by UNMOVIC and Iraq.[280] Iraqi officials insisted that the munitions had been overlooked from 1991. Dr Blix acknowledged in late January that "this could be the case", but warned that: "They could also be the tip of a submerged iceberg. The discovery of a few rockets does not resolve but rather points to the issue of several thousands of chemical rockets that are unaccounted for."[281]

Dr Blix also drew attention to the so-called "Air force document," which gave an account of the expenditure of bombs, including chemical munitions, by Iraq during the conflict with Iran:

The document indicates that 13,000 chemical bombs were dropped by the Iraqi Air Force between 1983 and 1988, while Iraq has declared that 19,500 bombs were consumed during this period. Thus, there is a discrepancy of 6,500 bombs. The amount of chemical agent in these bombs would be in the order of about 1,000 tonnes. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, we must assume that these quantities are now unaccounted for.[282]

No further finds of chemical or biological munitions have been reported by the Coalition inspection teams operating in Iraq. Searches of potential storage sites are ongoing.

Biological Weapons

The September Dossier reported that, along with chemical weapons, Iraq's biological capabilities "represented the most immediate threat" from WMD. It claimed that Iraq had a biological agent production capability and could produce at least anthrax, botulinum toxin, aflatoxin and ricin. It concluded that Iraq had continued to produce biological agents and had military plans and command and control arrangements in place to use such weapons.[283] Between 1998 and 2002 the JIC noted intelligence on the following:

Personnel known to have been connected to the biological warfare programme up to the Gulf War had been conducting research into pathogens. There was intelligence that Iraq was starting to produce biological warfare agents in mobile production facilities. Planning for the project had begun in 1995 under Dr Rihab Taha, known to have been a central player in the pre-Gulf War programme. The JIC concluded that Iraq had sufficient expertise, equipment and material to produce biological warfare agents within weeks using its legitimate bio-technology facilities.[284]

Secretary of State Powell told the Security Council in February 2003 that:

There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction.[285]

In addition to the weaponisation of anthrax, botulinum toxin, aflatoxin and ricin, Mr Powell claimed that:

Saddam Hussein has investigated dozens of biological agents causing diseases such as gas gangrene, plague, typhus, tetanus, cholera, camelpox, and hemorrhagic fever. And he also has the wherewithal to develop smallpox.[286]

With regard to the deployment of biological weapons, he declared:

[…] we know from sources that a missile brigade outside Baghdad was dispersing rocket launchers and warheads containing biological warfare agent to various locations, distributing them to various locations in western Iraq.

Most of the launchers and warheads had been hidden in large groves of palm trees and were to be moved every one to four weeks to escape detection.

We also have satellite photos that indicate that banned materials have recently been moved from a number of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction facilities.[287]

The IISS Dossier concluded that Iraq had probably retained substantial growth media and BW agent (perhaps thousands of litres of anthrax) from pre-1991 stocks.[288] It also concluded that Iraq would be capable of resuming BW agent production within weeks using existing civilian facilities, and suggested it could have produced thousands of litres of anthrax, botulinum toxin and other agents since 1998. Furthermore, it claimed Iraq had a capability to deliver BW agent using a simple airborne wet spray device, but it was not known if it had developed more advanced wet spray devices or acquired the ability to use dry agent.[289] However, the report said that the actual extent of Iraq's stocks was unknown, as was its possession of viral agents and smallpox.[290]

None of the sites searched by UN or Coalition teams during 2003 have contained proscribed materials. Further investigations are ongoing.

Anthrax

The September Dossier cited UNSCOM and UNMOVIC concerns over growth media that had not been accounted for by Iraq. The Government assessed that, as of late 1998, UNSCOM had been unable to account for "growth media procured for biological agent production (enough to produce over three times the 8,500 litres of anthrax spores Iraq admits to having manufactured)."[291]

On several occasions during early 2003 Dr Blix declared there were strong indications that Iraq had produced more anthrax than it had declared and stressed it was incumbent on Iraq to find and destroy it under UNMOVIC supervision or provide convincing evidence that it had indeed been destroyed unilaterally in 1991, as Iraq claimed.[292]

Some progress in resolving the issue occurred in March after Iraq announced it was reopening a disposal site from 1991 where the unilateral destruction was reported to have occurred. The withdrawal of inspectors in mid-March cut the process short, although, as Dr Blix noted in May, it seemed unlikely that the excavation would have provided conclusive answers to the questions posed by UNMOVIC due to the difficulties in establishing the exact amount of anthrax that had been destroyed at the site. He concluded that: "For a final assessment of the matter of anthrax destruction […] further information from other sources, such as interviews and documentary evidence would be required."[293]

Production Facilities

The British Government declared in the September Dossier that:

We know from intelligence that Iraq has continued to produce biological warfare agents. […] Iraq […] is judged to be self-sufficient in the technology required to produce biological weapons. […][294]

The Government also expressed concern that certain dual-use equipment, some of it new, "could be used in a resurgent biological warfare programme." It highlighted certain "facilities of concern", such as the castor oil production plant at Fallujah, which could be used for the production of ricin.

The various facilities highlighted in the September Dossier were visited on several occasions by UNMOVIC, but no evidence was found of proscribed activities. Coalition weapons inspectors are also reported to have visited the sites and are continuing their investigations.

Mobile Production Facilities

The September Dossier cited evidence from defectors who had left Iraq since 2000 that mobile biological agent production facilities had been developed by Iraq, adding that: "Recent intelligence confirms that the Iraqi military have developed mobile facilities."[295]

Secretary of State Powell declared in his February presentation that:

We have first-hand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails. […] In a matter of months, they can produce a quantity of biological poison equal to the entire amount that Iraq claimed to have produced in the years prior to the Gulf War. […]

We know that Iraq has at least seven of these mobile, biological agent factories. The truck-mounted ones have at least two or three trucks each. That means that the mobile production facilities are very few—perhaps 18 trucks that we know of. There may be more. […]

[…] these are sophisticated facilities. For example, they can produce anthrax and botulinum toxin.[296]

He cited four sources, including two defectors, to corroborate the claims.

UNMOVIC found no evidence of such vehicles during its inspections, although three vehicles are reported to have been found by Coalition weapons inspectors. Paul Reynolds, the BBC News Online World Affairs Correspondent, believes these vehicles "provide the strongest evidence so far of illegal Iraqi weapons production".[297]

Nuclear Weapons

Between 1991 and the withdrawal of its inspection teams in 1998, the IAEA reported considerable progress in verifying and destroying the bulk of Iraq's nuclear weapons programme. However, the British Government argued in its September Dossier that since 1998: "there has been an accumulation of intelligence indicating that Iraq is making concerted covert efforts to acquire dual-use technology and materials with nuclear applications."[298] The JIC reportedly concluded in early 2002 that:

UN sanctions on Iraq were hindering the import of crucial goods for the production of fissile material. The JIC judged that while sanctions remain effective Iraq would not be able to produce a nuclear weapon. If they were removed or prove ineffective, it would take Iraq at least five years to produce sufficient fissile material for a weapon indigenously. However, we know that Iraq retains expertise and design data relating to nuclear weapons. We therefore judge that if Iraq obtained fissile material and other essential components from foreign sources the timeline for production of a nuclear weapon would be shortened and Iraq could produce a nuclear weapon in between one and two years.[299]

The IISS Strategic Dossier concluded that, of the three WMD types, nuclear weapons seemed "the furthest from Iraq's grasp." The Dossier added that Iraq lacked the facilities to produce fissile material in the quantities required for a nuclear weapon, but declared that: "If, somehow, Iraq were able to acquire sufficient nuclear material from foreign sources, it could probably produce nuclear weapons on short order, perhaps in a matter of months."[300]

Some commentators expressed scepticism over the claims made in the Government's Dossier. Bronwen Maddox of The Times commented in June:

The prominence that the dossier gave to Iraq's nuclear ambitions seemed at the time to be unwarranted, given that no analysis seriously suggested that Iraq had nuclear capability. But Blair's allegations now appear to be based on exceptionally shaky ground.[301]

She argued that the assertion that "Saddam Hussein "continues in his efforts to develop nuclear weapons" remains uncontroversial", but said the claim about obtaining fissile material from foreign sources was "melodramatic":

It is a true but trite observation, and a misleading bid for the headlines, given that obtaining fissile material is the most difficult step in building a weapon and that there were few signs that Iraq had managed to circumvent the sanctions regime to do this.[302]

In March the IAEA Director General Dr Mohammed El-Baradei reported that the deterioration in Iraq's industrial capacity at the majority of sites over the past four years would inhibit Iraq's capability to resume a nuclear weapons programme. He suggested that this deterioration had been caused by the departure of foreign support since the 1980s, the departure of skilled Iraqi personnel during the 1990s, and the lack of consistent maintenance by Iraq of sophisticated equipment.[303] He concluded that: "After three months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons programme in Iraq."[304]

Uranium and Niger

The September Dossier reported that there was "intelligence that Iraq has sought the supply of significant quantities of uranium from Africa".[305] This claim was repeated by President Bush in his State of the Union address in January 2003: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."[306]

The documents relating to the alleged agreement for the sale of uranium between 1999 and 2001 were passed to the IAEA for investigation. The Agency concluded rapidly that the documents were in fact not authentic and that these specific allegations were unfounded.[307] Subsequent reports suggested that the documents had been crude forgeries, one bearing the name of a Niger Minister who had been out of office for some years.

Norman Dombey, Professor of Theoretical Physics at Sussex University, argued in September 2002 that the prominence given the uranium story was misleading:

Without enrichment facilities this material is useless for nuclear weapons, although it could conceivably be used in conventional weapons in the same way that depleted uranium is used by the UK and US. It is also very possible that this African story is an intelligence sting.[308]

Similarly, in early June the Sunday Times claimed the documents had been forged by British Intelligence in an attempt to discredit Iraq.[309]

The CIA reportedly indicated doubts about the accuracy of the documents in February 2003, although these were not apparently communicated to the White House or to the British Government.[310] The issue has been taken up by Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman in a letter to President Bush of 2 June 2003.[311]

When asked on 4 June by Mr Cook whether he would be willing to correct the record and acknowledge he had misled the House on this issue, Mr Blair declined, saying:

There was intelligence to that effect. I shall not go into the details of the particular intelligence, but at the time it was judged by the Joint Intelligence Committee to be correct. Until we investigate properly, we are simply not in a position to say whether that is so.[312]

Aluminium Tubes

The September Dossier declared that:

Iraq has also made repeated attempts covertly to acquire a very large quantity (60,000 or more) of specialised aluminium tubes. The specialised aluminium in question is subject to international export controls because of its potential application in the construction of gas centrifuges used to enrich uranium, although there is no definitive intelligence that it is destined for a nuclear programme.[313]

In his February presentation Mr Powell said the regime had "made repeated covert attempts to acquire high-specification aluminum tubes from 11 different countries, even after inspections resumed."[314] He acknowledged there was a difference of opinion over the possible uses for such tubes:

There is controversy about what these tubes are for. Most U.S. experts think they are intended to serve as rotors in centrifuges used to enrich uranium. Other experts, and the Iraqis themselves, argue that they are really to produce the rocket bodies for a conventional weapon, a multiple rocket launcher.[315]

However, he questioned why the tubes had been manufactured to such high tolerances and stressed that, in any case, Iraq was prohibited under the UN sanctions regime from acquiring such items.[316]

In his statement to the Security Council on 7 March 2003 Dr El-Baradei said:

Based on available evidence, the IAEA team has concluded that Iraq's efforts to import these aluminium tubes were not likely to have been related to the manufacture of centrifuges and, moreover, that it was highly unlikely that Iraq could have achieved the considerable re-design needed to use them in a revived centrifuge programme. However, this issue will continue to be scrutinized and investigated.[317]

Ballistic Missiles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Scud-type Missiles

As of late 1998 UNSCOM believed it had accounted for 817 of the 819 Scud-type missiles declared by Iraq, although Iraq's indigenous production capability raised doubts as to whether it had been able to conceal a small number of domestically built missiles.[318]

The Government's September Dossier declared:

According to intelligence, Iraq has retained up to 20 al-Hussein missiles [Scud missiles with extended range] […] 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 reaching a number of countries in the region including Cyprus, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel.[319]

It also said Iraq had "constructed a new engine test stand for the development of missiles capable of reaching the UK Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus and NATO members (Greece and Turkey), as well as all Iraq's Gulf neighbours and Israel."[320]

The IISS Strategic Dossier concluded that Iraq had probably retained a small force of al-Hussein missiles, which could number around 12.[321] Secretary of State Powell declared in February that: "numerous intelligence reports over the past decade from sources inside Iraq indicate that Saddam Hussein retains a covert force of up to a few dozen Scud-variant ballistic missiles."[322]

Dr Blix reported in January that there remained

significant questions as to whether Iraq retained SCUD-type missiles after the Gulf War. Iraq declared the consumption of a number of SCUD missiles as targets in the development of an anti-ballistic missile defence system during the 1980s. Yet no technical information has been produced about that programme or data on the consumption of the missiles.[323]

No progress was made on this issue before the withdrawal of UN inspectors in mid-March. Thus far, no Scud-type missiles have been discovered in Iraq by Coalition teams.

Al Samoud 2 and Al Fatah Ballistic Missiles

The September Dossier reported that:

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. 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.[324]

More detail was provided on the Al Samoud missile system:

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.[325]

The IISS Strategic Dossier concluded that Iraq did not have the capability to produce long-range missiles, although it could have produced some Al Samoud missiles with a range of up to 200 km. Iraq was also believed to be capable of converting civilian vehicles to serve as mobile launchers for its remaining missile force.[326]

In its December 2002 Declaration to the UN Iraq revealed it had been testing two types of ballistic missiles that could exceed the range limit: the Al Samoud 2, which had been tested to a maximum range of 183 kilometres, and the Al Fatah, which had been tested to 161 kilometres.

UNMOVIC concluded that the al Samoud exceeded the 150 km range restriction and was therefore a proscribed weapons system.[327] Destruction work began on 1 March but was halted because of the withdrawal of inspectors, with 50 of the 75 declared missiles having been destroyed. Dr Blix reported that further investigation would be required to determine the legality of the Al Fatah programme.[328]

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

The September Dossier reported intelligence indicating that Iraq had attempted to modify the L-29 jet trainer "to allow it to be used as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) which is potentially capable of delivering chemical and biological agents over a large area."[329]

This claim was echoed by Secretary of State Powell in his February presentation:

we detected one of Iraq's newest UAVs in a test flight that went 500 kilometers nonstop on autopilot in the racetrack pattern depicted here. The linkages over the past ten years between Iraq's UAV program and biological and chemical warfare agents are of deep concern to us. Iraq could use these small UAVs which have a wingspan of only a few meters to deliver biological agents to its neighbors or, if transported, to other countries, including the United States.[330]

During an inspection in February UN personnel observed one UAV, although UNMOVIC was unable to determine the nature and purpose of the vehicle in the time available. Dr Blix said the drone should have been included in Iraq's declaration, but said that it would constitute a violation only if it exceeded the 93-mile limit on range or if it were linked in some way to the delivery of chemical or biological weapons.[331]

No further UAVs have been found thus far, either by the UN or by Coalition inspectors.

Potential factors to be considered

A significant amount has been established about Iraq's WMD and much of it is not in dispute. UN inspectors documented in great detail Iraq's efforts to conceal its proscribed programmes and set out at length the remaining areas of doubt.[332] However, the absence of significant finds of WMD and related materials since the end of the conflict has prompted questions about the accuracy of US and British intelligence estimates and the extent to which intelligence reports may have been manipulated to suit political purposes. The following section examines the various factors that may have influenced the gathering and analysis of intelligence, and contributed to what some observers believe may be a disparity between the British Government's assessments and the true extent of Iraq's WMD capabilities.

Difficulties in gathering Intelligence in Iraq

The British Government acknowledged in the September dossier that Iraq was a difficult intelligence target. The Prime Minister declared in the foreword that: "Gathering intelligence inside Iraq is not easy. Saddam's is one of the most secretive and dictatorial regimes in the world."[333] The executive summary acknowledged that: "This intelligence cannot tell us about everything", although it "provides a fuller picture of Iraqi plans and capabilities."[334]

There have been suggestions that, due to the difficulties in penetrating the regime, western intelligence agencies became increasingly reliant on exile sources, such as the Iraqi National Congress, which had their own agenda to promote, or on relatively outdated intelligence from defectors. There have also been suggestions that the British side may have become overly dependent on shared intelligence received from the US. A senior Whitehall official was quoted in the Financial Times as saying: "If there is a fault in British intelligence it is that it took too much of what their US intelligence counterparts were telling them on trust, without cross-questioning the evidence."[335]

Utility and accuracy of Intelligence

Significant amounts of information from US, British and other intelligence agencies were passed to UNMOVIC and the IAEA during late 2002 and early 2003.[336] Dr Blix, acknowledged in February that intelligence information had been useful and, in one case, had led inspectors "to a private home where documents mainly relating to the laser enrichment of uranium were found."[337] However, he has since expressed reservations about the accuracy and utility of much of the information passed to him from national intelligence agencies. On 20 March he said: "I have a high regard for intelligence and I think it necessary but I must say that when you watch what came out of intelligence you were not so convinced."[338] On 5 June he declared that: "Only in three of those cases did we find anything at all, and in none of these cases were there any weapons of mass destruction, and that shook me a bit, I must say." He said UN inspectors had been promised the best information available, adding: "I thought - my God, if this is the best intelligence they have and we find nothing, what about the rest?"[339] Later in June he claimed that the USA and UK had treated intelligence in "a lighthearted way", and suggested that Washington and London were seeking to focus attention away from their claims about deployed WMD towards Iraq's programmes to develop such weapons.[340]

Other commentators noted that much of the intelligence passed to UNMOVIC had only a limited 'shelf-life' and would have become outdated relatively quickly, given the alleged mobility of Iraq's proscribed material and weapons. They contend that it was unsurprising that inspectors found little or no evidence of proscribed weapons systems at the sites highlighted by intelligence.

It is harder to account for the absence thus far of evidence of deployed WMD now that the regime has fallen. Lieutenant General James Conway, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Unit in Iraq, said in late May: "It remains a surprise to me now that we have not uncovered weapons … in some of the forward dispersal sites. It's not for lack of trying. We've been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad, but they're simply not there."[341]

Interpretation and analysis of Intelligence

In its September Dossier the British Government said the intelligence gathered confirmed that chemical and biological weapons played an important role in Iraqi military thinking:

intelligence shows that Saddam attaches great importance to the possession of chemical and biological weapons which he regards as being the basis for Iraqi regional power. He believes that respect for Iraq rests on its possession of these weapons and the missiles capable of delivering them. Intelligence indicates that Saddam is determined to retain this capability and recognises that Iraqi political weight would be diminished if Iraq's military power rested solely on its conventional military forces.[342]

That assessment of the Iraqi leadership's desire to maintain a WMD capability was shared by other observers. For example, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) commented in its Strategic Dossier of 9 September 2002 that:

there is no indication that President Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi leadership have changed their commitment to retain and develop WMD and missiles as a high priority for Iraq's foreign and defence objectives.[343]

Gary Samore, the author of the Strategic Dossier, has commented since that:

The primary conclusion—that Iraq had reconstituted chemical and biological weapons capability, was not in dispute. It now appears to be wrong, but it was not in dispute. […]

Studying the history, I became convinced that Saddam had a magical belief in the ability of chemical weapons to defend his country. So I assumed that deep motivation together with available capability equalled a chemical and biological weapons programme. [344]

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on 4 June that the various reports from UN inspectors since 1998 suggested Iraq had indeed had something to hide:

It is impossible to read those reports and to set them against the evidence of Saddam's behaviour without coming to the conclusion that, in Dr. Blix's words, there was a strong presumption for the holding of those weapons.[345]

Bronwen Maddox of The Times believes that, if such weapons and capabilities are never found, "it points to a serious failure of the intelligence services themselves, one that cannot be excused by political exaggeration."[346]

Former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, declared in his resignation speech of 17 March that:

Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term—namely a credible device capable of being delivered against a strategic city target. It probably still has biological toxins and battlefield chemical munitions, but it has had them since the 1980s when US companies sold Saddam anthrax agents and the then British Government approved chemical and munitions factories.[347]

In June he told the BBC that: "The war was sold on the basis of what was described as a pre-emptive strike—hit Saddam before he hits us. It is now quite clear that Saddam did not have anything with which to hit us in the first place."[348]

Dr Blix commented in an interview on US television on 11 June that:

I think they [the USA and UK] believed in what they saw, but some of the material did not hold water. If you want to start a war on this basis, then I think the intelligence should be good, not just 'Sorry about that, it was the wrong intelligence.'[349]

He said he remained "agnostic" about the prospects of finding evidence of WMD, saying "we know for sure they did exist" and that "we cannot exclude they [the Coalition] may find something." Others agree that evidence may emerge in time. Mr al-Marashi commented in early June:

The search for documentary evidence of Iraq's WMD will take time. The process will involve going through thousands of documents and will be painstakingly long. If the American government turns up some crucial document, many could argue that such papers are forgeries.

America should make the documents it has captured public, and hand over such papers to an independent research centre that will be objective in screening all documents for veracity.

It is still too early to throw in the towel in the search for Iraq's WMD. The "smoking gun" weapons may not be found in Iraq, but a smoking gun document or documents may exist, proving that the Iraqi regime had little intention of fully dismantling its weapons programme.[350]

On 4 June Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said:

We are all impatient for further evidence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, even though I am entirely satisfied about the basis on which we made our decision on 18 March [to move to military action].[351]

He added on 10 June:

We recognise the need for credible, independent validation of any discoveries by the coalition. Dr. Blix noted last week that UNMOVIC remains ready to resume work in Iraq as an independent verifier, or to conduct long-term monitoring, should the Security Council so decide. United Nations Security Council resolution 1483 explicitly tasks the Security Council with reviewing the inspectors' mandates. This work will be undertaken in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, as the security situation in Iraq stabilises, the work of the 1,400-strong Iraq survey group of coalition forces will get under way. […] I accept that if there are further—I emphasise the word further—finds of evidence they need to be independently verified. [352]

Mr Blair declared on 30 April that the Government would release any evidence found of Iraqi WMD programmes: "We will aim to release information concerning evidence of Iraqi WMD programmes when and where appropriate, as we did before the conflict began."[353]

Political pressure on the Intelligence Agencies?

It has been alleged by some commentators that the British (and US) Government(s) put pressure on the intelligence agencies to present evidence to support their political case or presented the intelligence available in a selective manner to suggest that the threat posed by Iraq had become significantly greater and more imminent that had previously been the case. In the foreword to the September dossier, Mr Blair declared that, in his view, the threat from Iraq had increased over time:

In recent months, I have been increasingly alarmed by the evidence from inside Iraq that despite sanctions, despite the damage done to his capability in the past, despite the UN Security Council Resolutions expressly outlawing it, and despite his denials, Saddam Hussein is continuing to develop WMD, and with them the ability to inflict real damage upon the region, and the stability of the world.[354]

He went on to say that:

The picture presented to me by the JIC [Joint Intelligence Committee] in recent months has become more not less worrying. […] I am in no doubt that the threat is serious and current, that he has made progress on WMD, and that he has to be stopped.[355]

Other observers, including some former members of western intelligence agencies, dispute the claim that the threat from Iraq had increased in recent years, arguing instead that containment was working and that the threat had changed little since 1991.[356]

Mr Blair has categorically denied the allegations of political manipulation, declaring on 10 June that: "There is not a shred of evidence that we doctored or manipulated evidence."[357] Mr Straw also disputed suggestions that the Prime Minister's foreword in the September Dossier had offered a distorted impression of the document's content. On 4 June he provided an overview of how the dossier had been compiled:

A dossier was prepared. It was in draft, and it was discussed in the normal way. Then it went back to the head of the JIC and his colleagues for final approval. I saw the draft; I cannot remember exactly what comments I made on it, but they will be among the evidence given to the Intelligence and Security Committee. A draft of the foreword was then prepared. That, too, was subject to discussion with and agreement from the head of the JIC to ensure, plainly, that what was in the foreword was entirely consistent with what was in the body of the document.[358]

He went on to offer a series of possible alternative explanations for the absence of further evidence of WMD since the conflict:

The set of propositions that lies behind the charges against the Government is frankly fanciful. Is it not more likely that Saddam, knowing that the game was up and realising that we meant what we said, went to extraordinary lengths to dismantle, conceal and disperse the weapons and any evidence of their existence? We warned about exactly that in the dossier on 24 September. Saddam had spent years perfecting the art of concealment and carried that out so completely that it will take us some time to search hundreds of sites, interview thousands of scientists and locate and evaluate what remains of the documentary and physical evidence.[359]

Degradation of chemical and biological agents?

The Iraqi Government claimed on a number of occasions that any material manufactured during the period before 1991 would have deteriorated and degraded to such an extent as to render them useless as a weapon. The extent to which chemicals and pathogens degrade depends on a number of variables which are not understood fully by scientists. The material's original purity, the environmental conditions in which it is held, the extent to which it is exposed to potential contaminants, and the addition of stabiliser can all affect the pace of degradation.

In the case of some materials degradation may be relatively swift, whereas in others the material may retain its toxicity for many years. For example, 15-year-old mustard gas shells that were tagged for destruction by UNMOVIC in March 2003 were found to be still of high quality. Tests revealed that the gas had retained around 97% purity.[360]

Unilateral destruction by Iraq?

One suggested possibility is that the intelligence from Iraq was correct, but that Iraq took a unilateral decision to destroy its WMD capabilities prior to the outbreak of conflict in March, perhaps in response to the growing international pressure as military action approached.[361]

Another possibility is that Iraq's claims to have destroyed its WMD stocks unilaterally in 1991 were indeed true. Dr Blix noted in his final briefing of the Security Council in June that a great deal of the weapons and material accounted for by UNSCOM and UNMOVIC had been destroyed unilaterally by Iraq early on in the inspections process. Annex 1 to his report showed that nearly all weapons destroyed before 1998 had been declared by Iraq and destroyed in the period between 1991 and 1995. He commented that:

We should perhaps take note of the fact that for many years neither UNSCOM nor UNMOVIC made significant finds of weapons. The lack of finds could be because the items were unilaterally destroyed by the Iraqi authorities or else because they were effectively concealed by them.[362]

If Iraq did destroy all proscribed material unilaterally, that would raise questions as to why it failed to provide documentary evidence to UN weapons inspectors in support of its claims. It is possible that, as various intelligence assessments suggested, Iraq viewed WMD as a key deterrent and source of prestige in the region, and believed that to acknowledge it had been disarmed of WMD would be a sign of weakness that could invite external aggression.

It is also possible that Iraq did destroy its stocks and weapons unilaterally, but sought to protect the technical expertise and the capability required to reconstitute its WMD capability at relatively short notice, once UN sanctions had been eased or lifted. Such a claim was put forward by John Barry in Newsweek in March 2003, who cited notes from the UN debrief of Hussein Kamel, Saddam Hussein's son-in-law and former head of Iraq's military industrial complex, who defected in 1995:

Kamel said Iraq had not abandoned its WMD ambitions. The stocks had been destroyed to hide the programs from the U.N. inspectors, but Iraq had retained the design and engineering details of these weapons. Kamel talked of hidden blueprints, computer disks, microfiches and even missile-warhead molds. […] Why preserve this technical material? Said Kamel: "It is the first step to return to production" after U.N. inspections wind down.[363]

If true, this could explain its reluctance to cooperate fully with UN inspectors and its failure to resolve promptly the outstanding questions over unaccounted for weapons and materials, for fear of revealing the true extent of its proscribed programmes, which would then have been submitted to long-term monitoring and verification by the UN.

Tim Youngs

International Affairs and Defence Section, House of Commons Library

Annex 1 - Structure of National Intelligence Machinery

N.B. The position of Chairman JIC and Intelligence Co-ordinator is now split: under the revised structure introduced in June 2002, the Chairman JIC (John Scarlett) reports to the Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator and Permanent Secretary (Sir David Omand).

Source: National Intelligence Machinery, 2nd Edition, September 2001, from

http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/caboff/nim/0114301808.pdf

Annex 2 - Chronology of developments since 1990

2 August 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait.

16 January 1991 US-led military coalition begins Operation Desert Storm.

February 1991 Iraqi forces expelled from Kuwait

3 April 1991 UNSC Resolution 687, the "cease-fire resolution," imposing obligations on Iraq to destroy its weapons of mass destruction programmes. UNSCOM established to carry out inspection and monitoring of destruction of chemical, biological and ballistic missile capabilities. IAEA charged with inspecting and destroying nuclear capability. Iraq obligated to recognise inviolability of border with Kuwait and return all Kuwaiti POWs.

August 1991 Iraq submits initial declaration in which it admits to possessing chemical weapons and 53 ballistic missiles. It denies having offensive biological weapons programme or nuclear weapons grade material and related facilities.

15 August 1991 UNSC Resolution 707, condemning Iraq's failure to comply with the IAEA and UNSCOM as "serious violation" and "material breach" of obligations under Resolution 687.

August 1995 Iraq admits to offensive biological weapons capability following defection and revelations by Hussein Kamel.

12 June 1996 UNSC Resolution 1060, deploring Iraq's refusal to allow access for UNSCOM to suspected weapons sites as "clear violation" of Resolutions 687, 707 and 715.

21 June 1997 UNSC Resolution 1115, condemning denial of access for UNSCOM to certain sites, and demanding immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access.

23 October 1997 UNSC Resolution 1134, condemning repeated refusal of access for UNSCOM teams, and deciding that such refusals constitute "flagrant violation" of Resolutions 687, 707, 715 and 1060.

February 1998 Iraq decides to terminate cooperation with UNSCOM, prompting threat of military action by USA and UK to bring about forced disarmament of Iraq.

Iraq signs Memorandum of Understanding with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to allow inspections to resume.

2 March 1998 UNSC Resolution 1154, endorsing Memorandum of Understanding and warning that any violation of it would have "severest consequences for Iraq."

5 March 1998 UNSCOM inspectors return to Iraq.

5 August 1998 Iraq announces suspension of all cooperation with UNSCOM and IAEA.

5 November 1998 UNSC Resolution 1205, condemning Iraq's decision to end cooperation with inspectors as "flagrant violation" of existing resolutions, and demanding that Iraq provide UNSCOM and IAEA with "immediate, complete and unconditional co-operation."

14 November 1998 US and British Governments authorise air strikes against Iraq as efforts continue at UN to find diplomatic solution. Action averted when Iraq indicates willingness to comply with UN demands.

16 December 1998 Operation Desert Fox. USA and UK initiate four days of air strikes against suspected WMD infrastructure, citing Resolutions 1154 and 1205, among others.

21 December 1998 Iraqi Vice President, Taha Yasin Ramadan, declares Iraq no longer willing to co-operate with UN inspectors.

17 December 1999 UNSC Resolution 1284, disbanding UNSCOM and replacing it with UNMOVIC.

9 September 2002 Publication by the International Institute for Strategic Studies of a Strategic Dossier on Iraq's WMD

12 September 2002 President Bush addresses UN General Assembly in attempt to secure support for US position on Iraq.

16 September 2002 Iraq informs UN of acceptance of unconditional return of weapons inspectors.

24 September 2002 Publication of the British Government's dossier on Iraq's alleged WMD capabilities (September Dossier)

8 November 2002 UNSC Resolution 1441, affording Iraq "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations." Council states that Iraq had been and remained in material breach of obligations and concludes by noting that it had repeatedly warned Iraq it would "face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations."

7 December 2002 Iraq submits weapons declaration to UN, pursuant to Resolution 1441.

19 December 2002 Heads of UNMOVIC and IAEA, Dr Hans Blix and Dr Mohamed El-Baradei, give informal briefing to Security Council on Iraqi declaration and the inspection process.

9 January 2003 Blix/El-Baradei briefing to Security Council.

27 January 2003 Blix/El-Baradei update Security Council on state of inspection process, pursuant to Resolution 1441.

3 February 2003 Publication by the Prime Minister's Office of a dossier detailing Iraq's efforts to conceal its WMD (February Dossier, also referred to by the media as the 'Dodgy Dossier')

5 February 2003 US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, makes presentation to Security Council on case for action, claiming that Iraq is failing to disarm and is deceiving inspectors over true state of proscribed weapons programmes.

14 February 2003 Blix/El-Baradei brief open session of Security Council.

7 March 2003 Blix/El-Baradei brief Security Council.

20 March 2003 Start of Coalition Military Action against Iraq

Appendix 2

Comparison of September Dossier Executive Summary and Chapter Information

This summary compares and contrasts the statements made in the executive summary of the Government's September Dossier (Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, 24 September 20002) with the statements made in the body of the document.

The extracts from the executive summary are in bold, with the relevant sections from the chapters then summarised below. For the sake of completeness, each of the points in the Executive Summary is considered in turn.

2. Much information about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction is already in the public domain from UN reports and from Iraqi defectors. This points clearly to Iraq's continuing possession, after 1991, of chemical and biological agents and weapons produced before the Gulf War.

(Para 13, page 16) "Based on the UNSCOM report to the UN Security Council in January 1999 and earlier UNSCOM reports, we assess that when the UN inspectors left Iraq they were unable to account for:

  • up to 360 tonnes of bulk chemical warfare agent, including 1.5 tonnes of VX nerve agent;
  • up to 3,000 tonnes of precursor chemicals, including approximately 300 tonnes which, in the Iraqi chemical warfare programme, were unique to the production of VX;
  • growth media procured for biological agent production (enough to produce over three times the 8,500 litres of anthrax spores Iraq admits to having manufactured);
  • over 30,000 special munitions for delivery of chemical and biological agents."

2. [Cont.] It shows that Iraq has refurbished sites formerly associated with the production of chemical and biological agents.

[Comments: The implication is that any such refurbishment had taken place recently, following the withdrawal of inspectors in 1998, given that UNSCOM had destroyed many of these facilities between 1991 and 1998. There is a distinction between the executive summary and the body of the report on the sources used to reach this conclusion. The executive summary suggests this information was already in the public domain from UN reports and defector testimony, whereas the body of the report says the information came from intelligence sources. It could be argued the executive summary is presenting intelligence assessments as facts established by the UN.]

(Para 8, pages 19-20) "Intelligence shows that Iraq has continued to produce chemical agent. […] monitoring ceased when UNSCOM withdrew from Iraq in 1998. However, capabilities remain and, although the main chemical weapon production facility at al-Muthanna was completely destroyed by UNSCOM and has not been rebuilt, other plants formerly associated with the chemical warfare programme have been rebuilt."

(Para 9, page 20) "Other dual-use facilities, which are capable of being used to support the production of chemical agent and precursors, have been rebuilt and re-equipped. New chemical facilities have been built, some with illegal foreign assistance, and are probably fully operational or ready for production."

(Para 12, pages 21-22) "We know from intelligence that Iraq has continued to produce biological warfare agents. Some dual-use equipment has also been purchased, but without monitoring by UN inspectors Iraq could have diverted it to their biological weapons programme. This newly purchased equipment and other equipment previously subject to monitoring could be used in a resurgent biological warfare programme."

2. [Cont.] And it indicates that Iraq remains able to manufacture these agents, and to use bombs, shells, artillery rockets and ballistic missiles to deliver them.

[Comments: Again, there is a distinction between the executive summary and the body of the report on the sources used to reach this conclusion. The executive summary suggests this information was already in the public domain from UN reports and defector testimony, whereas the body of the report gives estimates and extrapolations of capabilities that Iraq was believed to have retained at the time of the 1998 withdrawal of UNSCOM. The use of the present tense suggests this capability was still in existence as of September 2002, a conclusion that would, in all likelihood, have come from intelligence assessments.]

(Para 1, page 17) Main conclusions: "Iraq can deliver chemical and biological agents using an extensive range of artillery shells, free-fall bombs, sprayers and ballistic missiles;"

(Para 14, pages 22-23) "Iraq has a variety of delivery means available for both chemical and biological agents. These include:

  • free-fall bombs […];
  • artillery shells and rockets […];
  • helicopter and aircraft borne sprayers: […] It is probable that Iraq retains a capability for aerosol dispersal of both chemical and biological agent over a large area;
  • al-Hussein ballistic missiles (range 650km) […]
  • al-Samoud/Ababil-100 ballistic missiles (range 150km plus): it is unclear if chemical and biological warheads have been developed for these systems, but given the Iraqi experience on ther missile systems, we judge that Iraq has the technical expertise for doing so;"

3. An independent and well-researched overview of this public evidence was provided by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) on 9 September. The IISS report also suggested that Iraq could assemble nuclear weapons within months of obtaining fissile material from foreign sources.

[Comments: The IISS report gives a shorter timeframe for the assembling of a nuclear weapon than that estimated by the Government in the body of its report.]

(Para 23, pages 26-7) "in early 2002, the JIC assessed that UN sanctions on Iraq were hindering the import of crucial goods for the production of fissile material … if [sanctions] were removed or prove ineffective, it would take Iraq at least five years to produce sufficient fissile material for a weapon indigenously. However we know that Iraq retains expertise and design data relating to nuclear weapons. We therefore judge that if Iraq obtained fissile material and other essential components form foreign sources the timeline for production of a nuclear weapon would be shortened and Iraq could produce a nuclear weapon in between one and two years"

4. As well as the public evidence, however, significant additional information is available to the Government from secret intelligence sources, described in more detail in this paper. This intelligence cannot tell us about everything. However, it provides a fuller picture of Iraqi plans and capabilities. It shows that Saddam Hussein attaches great importance to possessing weapons of mass destruction which he regards as the basis for Iraq's regional power. It shows that he does not regard them only as weapons of last resort. He is ready to use them, including against his own population, and is determined to retain them, in breach of United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR).

[Comments: These assertions are reiterated in the body of the report]

(Para 1, page 17) Main conclusions: "Saddam continues to attach great importance to the possession of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles which he regards as being the basis for Iraq's regional power. He is determined to retain these capabilities;

(Para 5, page 18) "The intelligence also shows that the Iraqi leadership has been discussing a number of issues related to these weapons. This intelligence covers:

  • Confirmation that chemical and biological weapons play an important role in Iraqi military thinking: intelligence shows that Saddam attaches great importance to the possession of chemical and biological weapons which he regards as being the basis for Iraqi regional power. He believes that respect for Iraq rests on its possession of these weapons and the missiles capable of delivering them. Intelligence indicates that Saddam is determined to retain this capability and recognises that Iraqi political weight would be diminished if Iraq's military power rested solely on its conventional military forces."

5. Intelligence also shows that Iraq is preparing plans to conceal evidence of these weapons, including incriminating documents, from renewed inspections. […]

[Comments: This assertion is reiterated in the body of the report]

(Para 1, page 17) Main conclusions: "Iraq has learnt lessons from previous UN weapons inspections and is already taking steps to conceal and disperse sensitive equipment and documentation in advance of the return of inspectors;"

(Para 5, pages 18-19) "The intelligence also shows that the Iraqi leadership has been discussing a number of issues related to these weapons. This intelligence covers:

  • Iraqi attempts to retain its existing banned weapons systems: Iraq is already taking steps to prevent UN weapons inspectors finding evidence of its chemical and biological weapons programme. Intelligence indicates that Saddam has learnt lessons from previous weapons inspections, has identified possible weak points in the inspections process and knows how to exploit them. Sensitive equipment and papers can easily be concealed and in some cases this is already happening."

(Para 28, page 29) Satellite imagery has shown a new engine test stand [for ballistic missiles] being constructed […]. The Iraqis have recently taken measures to conceal activities at this site"

6. As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

  • continued to produce chemical and biological agents;

[Comments: This assertion is reiterated in the body of the report]

(Para 1, page 17) Main conclusions: "Iraq has a useable chemical and biological weapons capability, in breach of UNSCR 687, which has included recent production of chemical and biological agents;"

(Para 8, page 19) "Intelligence shows that Iraq has continued to produce chemical agent."

(Para 12, page 21) "We know from intelligence that Iraq has continued to produce biological warfare agents."

6. [Cont.] As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

  • military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, including against its own Shia population. Some of these weapons are deployable within 45 minutes of an order to use them;

[Comments: This assertion is reiterated in the body of the report]

(Para 1, page 17) Main conclusions: "Iraq's current military planning specifically envisages the use of chemical and biological weapons; […] The Iraqi military are able to deploy these weapons within 45 minutes of a decision to do so;"

(Para 4, page 18) "In the last six months the JIC has confirmed its earlier judgements on Iraqi chemical and biological warfare capabilities and assessed that Iraq has the means to deliver chemical and biological weapons."

(Para 5, page 19) "intelligence indicates that as part of Iraq's military planning Saddam is willing to use chemical and biological weapons, including against his own Shia population. Intelligence indicates that the Iraqi military are able to deploy chemical or biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to do so."

6. [Cont.] As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

  • command and control arrangements in place to use chemical and biological weapons. Authority ultimately resides with Saddam Hussein. (There is intelligence that he may have delegated this authority to his son Qusai);

[Comments: This assertion is reiterated in the body of the report]

(Para 1, page 17) Main conclusions: "Iraq's military forces are able to use chemical and biological weapons, with command, control and logistical arrangements in place."

(Para 15, page 23) "The authority to use chemical and biological weapons ultimately resides with Saddam but intelligence indicates that he may have also delegated this authority to his son Qusai. Special Security Organisation (SSO) and Special Republican Guard (SRG) units would be involved in the movement of any chemical and biological weapons to military units. The Iraqi military holds artillery and missile systems at Corps level throughout the Armed Forces and conducts regular training with them. The directorate of Rocket Forces has operational control of strategic missile systems and some Multiple Launcher Rocket Systems."

6) [Cont.] As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

  • developed mobile laboratories for military use, corroborating earlier reports about the mobile production of biological warfare agents;

[Comments: This assertion is reiterated in the body of the report]

(Para 13, page 22) "UNSCOM established that Iraq considered the use of mobile biological agent production facilities. In the past two years evidence from defectors has indicated the existence of such facilities. Recent intelligence confirms that the Iraqi military have developed mobile facilities."

6. [Cont.] As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

  • pursued illegal programmes to procure controlled materials of potential use in the production of chemical and biological weapons programmes;

[Comments: This assertion is reiterated in the body of the report]

(Para 2, pages 17-18) "In the first half of 2000 the JIC noted intelligence on Iraqi attempts to procure dual-use chemicals . […] Iraq has also been trying to procure dual-use materials and equipment which could be used for a biological warfare programme."

(Para 12, page 21-22) "Some dual use equipment has also been purchased. This newly procured equipment and other equipment previously subject to monitoring could be used in a resurgent biological warfare programme."

6. [Cont.] As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

  • tried covertly to acquire technology and materials which could be used in the production of nuclear weapons;

[Comments: This assertion is reiterated in the body of the report]

(Para 19, page 25) "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"

(Para 20, page 25) "Following the departure of weapons inspectors in 1998 there has been an accumulation of intelligence indicating that Iraq is making concerted covert efforts to acquire dual-use technology and material with nuclear applications"

(Para 21, page 26) "Intelligence shows that other important procurement activity since 1998 has included attempts to purchase:

  • vacuum pumps […]
  • an entire magnet production line […]
  • Anhyrous Hydrogen Fluoride (AHF) and fluorine gas […]
  • one large filament winding machine […]
  • a large balancing machine […]."

(Para 22, page 26) "Iraq has also made repeated attempts covertly to acquire a very large quantity (60,000 or more) of specialised aluminium tubes. […] although there is no definitive intelligence that it is destined for a nuclear programme"

6. [Cont.] As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

  • sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa, despite having no active civil nuclear power programme that could require it;

[Comments: This assertion is reiterated in the body of the report]

(Para 20, page 25) "there is intelligence that Iraq has sought the supply of significant quantities of uranium form Africa."

6. [Cont.] As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

  • recalled specialists to work on its nuclear programme;

[Comments: This assertion is not reiterated in these terms in the body of the report]

(Para 23, page 27) "we know that Iraq retains expertise and design data relating to nuclear weapons"

There are quotes relating to personnel linked to past chemical and biological weapons research. (Para 11, page 20) "Most of the personnel previously involved in the programme remain in country"

6. [Cont.] As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

  • illegally retained up to 20 al-Hussein missiles, with a range of 650km, capable of carrying chemical or biological warheads;

[Comments: The body of the report adds a number of caveats on the difficulties in concealing and reassembling these weapons]

(Para 26, page 28) According to intelligence, Iraq has retained up to 20 al-Hussein missiles. […] 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 […]."

6. [Cont.] As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

  • started deploying its al-Samoud liquid propellant missile, and has used the absence of weapons inspectors to work on extending its range to at least 200km, which is beyond the limit of 150km imposed by the United Nations;

[Comments: This assertion is reiterated in the body of the report]

(Para 26, page 27) "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"

6. [Cont.] As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

  • started producing the solid-propellant Ababil-100, and is making efforts to extend its range to at least 200km, which is beyond the limit of 150km imposed by the United Nations;

[Comments: This assertion is reiterated in the body of the report]

(Para 26, page 27) "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."

6. [Cont.] As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

  • constructed a new engine test stand for the development of missiles capable of reaching the UK Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus and NATO members (Greece and Turkey), as well as all Iraq's Gulf neighbours and Israel;

[Comments: This assertion is reiterated in the body of the report]

(Para 28, page 29) "Intelligence has confirmed that Iraq wants to extend the range of its missile systems to over 1000km, enabling it to threaten other regional neighbours"

(Para 28, page 29) "Satellite imagery […] has shown a new engine test stand being constructed (A), which is larger than the current one used for al-Samoud (B), and that formerly used for testing SCUD engines (C) […]. This new stand will be capable of testing engines for medium range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) with ranges over 1000km […]."

6. [Cont.] As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

  • pursued illegal programmes to procure materials for use in its illegal development of long range missiles;

[Comments: This assertion is reiterated in the body of the report]

(Para 32, page 30) "Despite the UN embargo, Iraq has also made concerted efforts to acquire additional production technology, including machine tools and raw material in breach of UN Security Council Resolution 1051. […] we know from intelligence that some items have found their way to the Iraqi ballistic missile programme. […] Intelligence makes it clear that Iraqi procurement agents and front companies in third countries are seeking illicitly to acquire propellant chemical for Iraq's ballistic missile programme. […] There have also been attempts to acquire large quantities of liquid propellant chemicals […]. We judge these are intended to support production and deployment of the al-Samoud and development of longer range systems."

6. [Cont.] As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:

  • learnt lessons from previous UN weapons inspectors and has already begun to conceal sensitive equipment and documentation in advance of the return of inspectors.

(Para 5, page 18) "Iraqi attempts to retain its existing banned weapons systems: Iraq is already taking steps to prevent UN weapons inspectors finding evidence of its chemical and biological weapons programme. Intelligence indicates that Saddam has learnt lessons from previous weapons inspections, has identified possible weak points in the inspections process and knows how to exploit them. Sensitive papers can easily be concealed and in some cases this is already happening."

(Para 28, page 29) "Iraqis have recently taken measures to conceal activities at this site" (related to missile capability and test site)

Tim Youngs

International Affairs and Defence Section, House of Commons Library


235   Q 198 (Dr Samore) Back

236   Q 171 Back

237   Q 287 Back

238   Qq 301, 302 (Terence Taylor) Back

239   Q 228 Back

240   Q1257 Back

241   Q 199 Back

242   Ev 4 Back

243   Q 167 Back

244   Q 176 Back

245   Q 322 Back

246   Q 61 Back

247   Q 319 Back

248   Qq 276-277 Back

249   The term 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' is generally used to denote nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Within the context of Iraq, it has been used more broadly to cover all weapons programmes proscribed under Resolution 687 of 1991, including ballistic missiles and other unmanned delivery systems with a range greater than 150 kilometres. For more background on Iraq and WMD, see Library Research Papers 02/53, 02/64 and 03/50. Back

250   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, 24 September 2002, available online at http://www.fco.gov.uk/Files/kfile/iraqdossier.pdf  Back

251   These sources are primarily the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6), the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the Security Service (or MI5), and the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS). The Government also said it had "access to intelligence from close allies". Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, 24 September 2002, p.9 Back

252   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, 24 September 2002, p.6 Back

253   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, 24 September 2002, p.3 Back

254   Iraq - its infrastructure of concealment, deception and intimidation, released 3 February 2003, available online at http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page1470.asp  Back

255   It is claimed the dossier relied on the following articles: Sean Boyne, 'Inside Iraq's Security Networks' (parts I and II), Jane's Intelligence Review, July & August 1997, Ibrahim al-Marashi, 'Iraq's Security and Intelligence Network: a guide and analysis', MERIA Journal Vol.6, No.3, September 2002, available online at http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2002/issue3/jv6n3a1.html, and Ken Gause, 'Can the Iraqi Security Apparatus save Saddam?', Jane's Intelligence Review, November 2002 Back

256   BBC News web site at http://news.bbc.co.uk , 6 June 2003 Back

257   HC Deb 4 June 2003, c156 Back

258   'Rumsfeld admits doubts over Iraqi WMDs', Daily Telegraph, 29 May 2003 Back

259   UNMOVIC, the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, replaced UNSCOM, the UN Special Commission on Iraq, in late 1999. The IAEA is the International Atomic Energy Agency. Back

260   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.6, 24 September 2002 Back

261   HC Deb 24 September 2002, c3 Back

262   'Reintegrating Iraq into the International Community: a cause with 'compelling moral force'', Speech by the Foreign Secretary to the Royal Institute of International Affairs, 21 February 2003 Back

263   Bronwen Maddox, 'Honesty or judgement: Blair fails on one or the other', The Times, 5 June 2003 Back

264   Ibrahim al-Marashi, ''Sexed-up' WMD dossiers should not obscure Saddam's evil intent', Daily Telegraph, website, 5 June 2003, available online at

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2003/06/05/do0501.xml&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=120338  Back

265   HC Deb 4 June 2003, c193 Back

266   HC Deb 4 June 2003, c197 Back

267   HC Deb 4 June 2003, c148 Back

268   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.19, 24 September 2002 Back

269   Presentation by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council, 5 February 2003 Back

270   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.18, 24 September 2002 Back

271   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Net Assessment, IISS Strategic Dossier, 9 September 2002, p.74 Back

272   Thirteenth Quarterly Report of the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC in accordance with paragraph 12 of Security Council Resolution 1284 (1999), S/2003/580, 30 May 2003, p.30 Back

273   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.18, 24 September 2002 Back

274   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Net Assessment, IISS Strategic Dossier, 9 September 2002, p.74 Back

275   'The Security Council: An Update on Inspections', by Dr Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, 27 January 2003, from http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/recent%20items.html Back

276   Thirteenth Quarterly Report of the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC in accordance with paragraph 12 of Security Council Resolution 1284 (1999), S/2003/580, 30 May 2003, p.25 Back

277   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, 24 September 2002, p.22 Back

278   Presentation by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council, 5 February 2003 Back

279   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Net Assessment, IISS Strategic Dossier, 9 September 2002, p.74 Back

280   Initial reports had suggested that the bunker in which the munitions at Al Ukhaidhir were stored had been relatively new, leading Dr Blix to declare on 27 January that "the rockets must have been moved there in the past few years, at a time when Iraq should not have had such munitions". He corrected that report on 9 February by saying that, in fact, the bunkers were not new.  Back

281   'The Security Council: An Update on Inspections', by Dr Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, 27 January 2003, from http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/recent%20items.html Back

282   'The Security Council: An Update on Inspections', by Dr Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, 27 January 2003, from http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/recent%20items.html Back

283   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.5, 24 September 2002 Back

284   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.18, 24 September 2002 Back

285   Presentation by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council, 5 February 2003 Back

286   Presentation by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council, 5 February 2003 Back

287   Presentation by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council, 5 February 2003 Back

288   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Net Assessment, IISS Strategic Dossier, 9 September 2002, p.74 Back

289   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Net Assessment, IISS Strategic Dossier, 9 September 2002, p.74 Back

290   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Net Assessment, IISS Strategic Dossier, 9 September 2002, p.74 Back

291   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, 24 September 2002, p.16 Back

292   'The Security Council: An Update on Inspections', by Dr Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, 27 January 2003, from http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/recent%20items.html Back

293   Thirteenth Quarterly Report of the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC in accordance with paragraph 12 of Security Council Resolution 1284 (1999), S/2003/580, 30 May 2003, p.25 Back

294   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, 24 September 2002, p.22 Back

295   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.22, 24 September 2002 Back

296   Presentation by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council, 5 February 2003 Back

297   Paul Reynolds, 'Iraq weapons: Where does the buck stop?', BBC News Online, 10 June 2003 Back

298   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.25, 24 September 2002 Back

299   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.26-7, 24 September 2002 Back

300   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Net Assessment, IISS Strategic Dossier, 9 September 2002, p.70 Back

301   Bronwen Maddox, 'Honesty or judgement: Blair fails on one or the other', The Times, 5 June 2003 Back

302   Bronwen Maddox, 'Honesty or judgement: Blair fails on one or the other', The Times, 5 June 2003 Back

303   'The Status of Nuclear Inspections in Iraq: An Update', by the IAEA Director General, Dr Mohamed El-Baradei, 7 March 2003, from

http://www.iaea.org/worldatom/Press/Statements/2003/ebsp2003n006.shtml Back

304   'The Status of Nuclear Inspections in Iraq: An Update', by IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed El-Baradei, 7 March 2003, from:

http://www.iaea.org/worldatom/Press/Statements/2003/ebsp2003n006.shtml Back

305   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.25, para.20, 24 September 2002 Back

306   State of the Union address, 28 January 2003, from

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html  Back

307   'The Status of Nuclear Inspections in Iraq: An Update', by IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed El-Baradei, 7 March 2003, from

http://www.iaea.org/worldatom/Press/Statements/2003/ebsp2003n006.shtml  Back

308   Professor Norman Dombey, 'What has he got?', London Review of Books, 17 October 2002 Back

309   Nick Fielding, 'Lie another day', Sunday Times, 1 June 2003 Back

310   'US rivals turn on each other as weapons search draws a blank', Observer, 11 May 2003 Back

311   Available online at

http://www.house.gov/reform/min/pdfs_108/pdf_inves/pdf_admin_iraq_nuclear_evidence_june_2_let.pdf  Back

312   HC Deb 4 June 2003, c154 Back

313   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.26, para.22, 24 September 2002 Back

314   Presentation by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council, 5 February 2003 Back

315   Presentation by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council, 5 February 2003 Back

316   Presentation by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council, 5 February 2003 Back

317   'The Status of Nuclear Inspections in Iraq: An Update', by IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed El-Baradei, 7 March 2003, from

http://www.iaea.org/worldatom/Press/Statements/2003/ebsp2003n006.shtml  Back

318   HC Deb 3 February 1999, c677w Back

319   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, 24 September 2002, p.28 Back

320   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, 24 September 2002, p.6 Back

321   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Net Assessment, IISS Strategic Dossier, 9 September 2002, p.74 Back

322   Presentation by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council, 5 February 2003 Back

323   'The Security Council: An Update on Inspections', by Dr Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, 27 January 2003, from http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/recent%20items.html Back

324   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, 24 September 2002, p.27 Back

325   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, 24 September 2002, p.27 Back

326   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Net Assessment, IISS Strategic Dossier, 9 September 2002, p.74 Back

327   Twelfth Quarterly Report of the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission in accordance with paragraph 12 of Security Council resolution 1284 (1999), S/2003/232, 28 February 2003, para 30, from http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/documents/2003-232.pdf Back

328   'Oral introduction of the 12th quarterly report of UNMOVIC Executive Chairman Dr. Hans Blix', 7 March 2003, from http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/SC7asdelivered.htm Back

329   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.23, 24 September 2002 Back

330   Presentation by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council, 5 February 2003 Back

331   Associated Press, 10 March 2003 Back

332   See for example the 173-page UNMOVIC working document on Unresolved Disarmament Issues of 6 March 2003. Back

333   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.3, 24 September 2002 Back

334   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.5, 24 September 2002 Back

335   'Did intelligence agencies rely too much on unreliable data from Iraqi exiles, or did politicians exaggerate the evidence presented to them?', Financial Times, 4 June 2003 Back

336   HC Deb 13 February 2003, c945w Back

337   'Briefing of the Security Council', by Dr Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, 14 February 2003, from http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/recent%20items.html  Back

338   Interview of Dr Hans Blix by Jim Naughtie, BBC Radio 4 Today programme, 20 March 2003 Back

339   'Blix criticises coalition over Iraq weapons', BBC News web site at

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2967598.stm  Back

340   'One last warning from the man who made an enemy of Bush: UN weapons inspector says Iraqi guilt is still not proven', Guardian, 11 June 2003 Back

341   'US to expand search for Iraqi weapons', Financial Times, 31 May 2003 Back

342   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.18, 24 September 2002 Back

343   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Net Assessment, IISS Strategic Dossier, 9 September 2002, p.11 Back

344   Bronwen Maddox, 'Honesty or judgement: Blair fails on one or the other', The Times, 5 June 2003 Back

345   HC Deb 4 June 2003, c198 Back

346   Bronwen Maddox, 'Honesty or judgement: Blair fails on one or the other', The Times, 5 June 2003 Back

347   HC Deb 17 March 2003, c727 Back

348   Quoted in 'Did intelligence agencies rely too much on unreliable data from Iraqi exiles, or did politicians exaggerate the evidence presented to them?', Financial Times, 4 June 2003 Back

349   'Blix attacks 'bastards in the White House'', Evening Standard, 11 June 2003 Back

350   Ibrahim al-Marashi, ''Sexed-up' WMD dossiers should not obscure Saddam's evil intent', Daily Telegraph, website, 5 June 2003, available online at

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2003/06/05/do0501.xml&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=120338 Back

351   HC Deb 4 June 2003, c194 Back

352   HC Deb 10 June 2003, c525-6 Back

353   HC Deb 30 April 2003, c399w Back

354   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.3, 24 September 2002 Back

355   Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government, p.3, 24 September 2002 Back

356   For example Andrew Wilkie, former senior official in the Australian Office of National Assessments, and Greg Thielman, a former senior intelligence official in the US State Department. Back

357   BBC News web site at http://news.bbc.co.uk, 10 June 2003 Back

358   HC Deb 4 June 2003, c193 Back

359   HC Deb 4 June 2003, c201 Back

360   Thirteenth quarterly report of the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission in accordance with paragraph 12 of Security Council resolution 1284 (1999), S/2003/580, 30 May 2003, p.30 Back

361   See, for example, 'Did intelligence agencies rely too much on unreliable data from Iraqi exiles, or did politicians exaggerate the evidence presented to them?', Financial Times, 4 June 2003 Back

362   Notes for the Briefing of the Security Council on the thirteenth quarterly report of UNMOVIC, 5 June 2003, from http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/  Back

363   John Barry, The Defector's Secrets, Newsweek, 3 March 2003, from http://www.msnbc.com/news/876128.asp Back


 
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