Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Memorandum from Dr Kamil Mahdi

  1.  Is it not correct that no new banned weapons were discovered in Iraq by UN weapons inspectors after 1994 with the exception of the Al-Samoud missiles (the illegality of which was questionable)? Does that not confirm the public statements made in exile in 1995 by the former head of the Iraqi military industrialisation commission, the man responsible for managing the non-conventional weapons programme, Hussain Kamil?

  2.  Hussain Kamil repeatedly spoke to the world's media and he was also interviewed by UNSCOM and UK and UK intelligence agencies. What information was gained from his interrogation?

  3.  Hussain Kamil told the respected Arabic daily Alhayat 25/8/95 (my translation): "Baghdad accepted Security Council Resolutions relating to WMD and other matters but tried to wriggle out of this acceptance and of the implementation of the resolutions, and for years it has tried not to reveal armaments' secrets. It covered up information on missiles, chemical weapons, and nuclear and biological programmes leading to direct repercussion upon Iraq through the continuation of the sanctions and the loss of the credibility of the Iraqi state; for Baghdad used to announce that there was nothing left, and was subsequently announcing the opposite. All those programmes (chemical, biological and nuclear) and armaments have been destroyed, so what is the advantage of hiding documents from the UN? . . . (emphasis added) The regime hid armaments information in the belief that history will vindicate it, and that Iraq will one day return to being a fighting state. The objective was clear which is to once again return to Kuwait and enter Saudi Arabia."

  4.  Was it not likely that all weapons were destroyed between 1991 and 1994? And was it not evident that inspection and monitoring would have been sufficient to control the inevitable weapons capability that goes with much of modern industry?

  5.  On 3 September 1995, there was a report also in Alhayat on Hussain Kamil's meeting with Rolf Ekeus in which Kamil revealed the presence of an Iraqi spy who was a translator in the UN mission. Suspecting that Ekeus's translator that day was the spy, Kamil refused to meet in his presence. On 13 September, Alhayat reported that the translator in question (a Palestinian) was not in fact the spy, but that the alleged spy was an older Palestinian/Syrian who was in New York. The episode reflects that Hussain Kamil did not want Baghdad to know what he was telling Ekeus, and strengthens his credibility as a witness at that time.

  6.  How can it be that the head of the weapons programme defected, revealed hidden documents, capabilities and past programmes and yet Iraq could still be construed as an imminent danger requiring a devastating war?

  7.  Is it not evident that the weapons were an excuse for a new colonial adventure? Should the British government not be held to account for all this death and destruction, and should Iraq not receive reparations from Britain and the US?

Dr Kamil Mahdi

Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies

University of Exeter

17 June 2003

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2003
Prepared 7 July 2003