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Sunday, 22 September, 2002, 22:27 GMT 23:27 UK
Short warns Blair over Iraq
A pro-government rally in Baghdad
Clare Short says Iraq's people must not suffer again
International Development Secretary Clare Short has said she cannot support an all-out war against Iraq.

In a television interview broadcast on Sunday, the minister said there must not be another war in which innocent Iraqis are killed.

Ms Short is the second minister to express her concern after the Leader of the Commons, Robin Cook, indicated he could not support military action which was not authorised by the United Nations (UN).


The case for war has not yet been made by the politicians

Major General Patrick Cordingley
In an interview with GMTV's Sunday programme, Ms Short asserted her support for current attempts to find a solution to the crisis through the UN.

Ms Short said: "We cannot have another Gulf War. We cannot have the people of Iraq suffering again. They have suffered too much. That would be wrong."

'Case not made'

The officer who commanded the British 7th Armoured Brigade in the Gulf War has said a military invasion of Iraq would be unjustified.

Major General Patrick Cordingley told The Sunday Telegraph he believed Iraq posed no imminent threat to Britain or its interests and that "the case for war has not yet been made by the politicians".


She's made her views this morning very clear

Estelle Morris
When the cabinet meets on Monday afternoon - the day before Parliament is recalled - ministers will be briefed on the contents of the British dossier.

That is said to contain compelling evidence of how Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has continued to develop weapons of mass destruction.

Parliament recalled

Education Secretary Estelle Morris said she was sure Ms Short would raise her concerns during the cabinet meeting.

"Clare's got strong views. I am very fond of Clare - she's a Birmingham MP with me - but the minute I start answering for her on key issues like, I think I ought not to do that," Ms Morris told BBC's Breakfast with Frost.

"She's made her views this morning very clear and no doubt we will hear a few of them in the next few days."

Parliament will be recalled at 1130BST on 24 September, with the much trailed dossier published at 0800 BST the same day.

Major General Cordingley is sceptical about such a dossier, and said: "I don't think they have much, frankly."

In an interview in Saturday's Daily Telegraph, Mr Cook warned the prime minister not to back unilateral US military action.

Ms Short told GMTV she did not rule out the need for military action, but made it clear she could not support all-out war.

Mr Blair has won support from Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and Chancellor Gordon Brown on his stance against Iraq.

'No golden bullet'

Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said he hoped the dossier would be in the hands of MPs in time for Tuesday's debate.

But he told BBC's On the Record: "Let's be honest about it, I don't think there's going to be a sort of golden bullet sitting in this dossier that says, 'Look, this is the final bit that says absolutely, bang to rights, these are the amounts of weapons he [Saddam] has got'."

The threat of military action from the Allies was the only way to force Saddam Hussein to comply with UN resolutions and get rid of his weapons, he said.

He added: "I believe that we face a serious and growing danger from Iraq, and the whole of the Middle East does, if we don't now deal with Saddam Hussein."

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Nicholas Jones
"Clare Short has been uneasy for some time"

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22 Sep 02 | Middle East
13 Sep 02 | Politics
14 Sep 02 | Politics
18 Sep 02 | Politics
18 Sep 02 | Politics
15 Sep 02 | Middle East
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