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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 July, 2003, 05:13 GMT 06:13 UK
Timeline: 'Niger uranium' row
BBC News Online charts the escalation of arguments in a row over Iraq's alleged attempts to buy uranium from Niger.

24 September 2002

"There is intelligence that Iraq has sought the supply of significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Iraq has no active civilian nuclear power programme or nuclear power plants and therefore has no legitimate reason to acquire uranium."

Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The assessment of the British Government

28 January 2003

"The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

US President George W Bush's State of the Union address

7 March 2003

"Based on thorough analysis, the IAEA has concluded, with the concurrence of outside experts, that these documents - which formed the basis for the reports of recent uranium transactions between Iraq and Niger - are in fact not authentic.

We have therefore concluded that these specific allegations are unfounded."

UN nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei's report to the UN Security Council

3 July 2003

"It is very odd indeed that the Government asserts that it was not relying on the evidence which has since been shown to have been forged but that eight months later it is still reviewing the other evidence... We recommend that the Government explain on what evidence it relied for its judgement in September that Iraq had recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. We further recommend that in its response to this Report the Government set out whether it still considers the September dossier to be accurate in what it states about Iraq's attempts to procure uranium from Africa in the light of subsequent events."

House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee report

6 July 2003

"It was highly doubtful that any such (Niger-Iraq) transaction had ever taken place."

Former US diplomat Joseph Wilson writing in the New York Times about his fact-finding visit to Niger in February 2002

8 July 2003

"The president's statement was based on the predicate of the yellow cake [uranium] from Niger.

So given the fact that the report on the yellow cake did not turn out to be accurate, that is reflective of the president's broader statement."

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer

8 July 2003

"The evidence that we had that the Iraqi Government had gone back to try to purchase further amounts of uranium from Niger did not come from these so-called "forged" documents, they came from separate intelligence."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair testimony to the House of Commons Liaison Committee.

11 July 2003

"The CIA cleared the speech in its entirety... Some specifics about amount and place were taken out. With the changes in that sentence, the speech was cleared. The agency did not say they wanted that sentence out.

If the CIA - the director of central intelligence - had said "Take this out of the speech," it would have been gone. We have a high standard for the president's speeches."

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice on US President George W Bush's State of the Union address

11 July 2003

"These 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president. The president had every reason to believe that the text presented to him was sound. I am responsible for the approval process in my agency."

CIA Director George Tenet

12 July 2003

"The CIA expressed reservations to us about this element of the September dossier... However, the US comment was unsupported by explanation and UK officials were confident that the dossier's statement was based on reliable intelligence which we had not shared with the US... A judgement was therefore made to retain it."

UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in a letter to Donald Anderson MP, Chair of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee


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