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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 24 September, 2002, 09:03 GMT 10:03 UK
Iraq weapons dossier at-a-glance
Ministry of Defence picture of Iraq chemical bombs in 1998
Ministry of Defence picture of Iraq chemical bombs
Here are the main points of the British Government's 50-page dossier of evidence against Saddam Hussein.

Overview

  • Iraq has "military plans" for the use of chemical and biological weapons, even against its own population

  • Saddam is one or two years off building a nuclear weapon if he manages to obtain weapons-grade material from abroad

  • Chemical and nuclear programmes are "well funded" through illicit earnings of up to $3 billion

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

  • Iraq is preparing to conceal evidence of weapons and incriminating documents from weapons inspectors in the future

  • Saddam regards the possession of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles as the basis of Iraq's regional power

  • Saddam practises torture, execution and coercion against enemies within Iraq

  • Tony Blair writes in the dossier: "I am in no doubt that the threat is serious and current, that he has made progress on weapons of mass destruction and that he has to be stopped"

    Nuclear programme

  • Iraq is five years away from producing a nuclear weapon on its own

  • Iraq has constructed engine test equipment for a missile capable of striking British military bases in Cyprus, Nato members Greece and Turkey and Iraq's Gulf neighbours and Israel

  • Saddam has tried to acquire "significant quantities" of uranium from Africa despite having no civil programme that could need it

  • Iraq's nuclear programme is "almost certainly" seeking an ability to enrich to weapons quality uranium mined in Iraq

  • Approach is based on a process known as gas centrifuge uranium enrichment, but he lacks certain key pieces of equipment

  • Specialists have been recalled to work on a nuclear programme

    Chemical and biological weapons

  • Iraq has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons

  • Some weapons are deployable within 45 minutes of an order to use them

  • It retainssome such weapons from pre-Gulf War stocks

  • Saddam also retains the capability to produce the mass-casualty chemical agents mustard gas, tabun, sarin, cyclosarin and VX

  • Iraq has developed mobile laboratories for military use

    Missile programmes

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

  • It has started deploying its al-Samoud liquid propellant missile and extended its range to at least 200km, beyond the 150km UN limit

  • Iraq has started producing the solid-propellant Ababil-100 and is trying to extend its range to 200km

  • Latest intelligence reports suggest Iraq has begun developing missiles with a range of more than 1,000km, and if sanctions remained effective it would be able to produce such weapons by 2007

    Saddam's power

  • Saddam has retained authority over command and control arrangements to use chemical and biological weapons

  • Intelligence reports say he may have delegated authority to his son Qusai

  • Saddam does not regard weapons of mass destruction as a last resort

    Funding

  • Chemical, biological, nuclear and ballistic missile programmes are "well funded"

  • Iraq generates income outside UN control to an estimated $3bn in 2002

  • Illicit earnings are used to maintain Iraq's armed forces and to develop or acquire military equipment including chemical, biological, nuclear and ballistic programmes

  • Illicit earnings have increased from around $1bn in 1999 to $3bn in 2002

    Iraq under Saddam

  • Saddam uses patronage and violence to motivate supporters and control or eliminate opposition

  • He pursues a long-term programme of persecution against Iraqi Kurds, including the use of chemical weapons

  • People are arrested and detained for alleged political or religious activities

  • Executions carried out without due process of law with thousands of prisoners executed

  • Women prisoners at Mahjar are routinely raped by guards

  • Prisoners at Qurtiyya Prison in Baghdad and elsewhere left in metal boxes to die if they do not confess

  • Penalties for criminal offences include amputation, branding, cutting off ears and mutilation

  • "Slander" against Saddam results in having tongues removed

  • Some 40 Saddam relatives, including women and children, killed

    UN weapons inspections

  • April 1991 first resolutions passed to enable UN to dismantle Iraq's nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programmes

  • These programmes were in contravention of Iraq's treaty commitments

  • Iraq has "persistently" obstructed UN weapons inspectors

  • It has been state policy to retain all weapons programmes despite agreements to do otherwise

  • Weapons inspectors banned from going to eight "presidential" sites

  • Iraq has admitted to having a system for hiding proscribed material from inspectors

  • Weapons inspectors have been intimidated by Iraqi officials

  • Forged documents used to account for proscribed materials for the growth of anthrax and botulinum toxin

  • Iraq has destroyed weapons unilaterally to stop the UN being able to account for them

    Blair's view

  • In the dossier, the prime minister says that although gathering intelligence inside Iraq is not easy he and other ministers are satisfied with the authority of the information

  • He says it is "unprecedented for the government to publish a document of this kind"

  • He says he has become "increasingly alarmed" in recent months by evidence that Saddam Hussein is developing weapons of mass destruction in contravention of UN resolutions

  • He says: "I am quite clear that Saddam will go to extreme lengths, indeed has already done so, to hide these weapons and avoid giving them up."


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  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Vicki Young
"Number 10 had said in advance that it would nail the lie that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction"
  Shadow Foreign Secretary Michael Ancram:
"What have I have seen is evidence that Saddam Hussein is continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction"
  Lib Dem Chairman Mark Oaten:
"We cannot rush into military action"

Key stories

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See also:

23 Sep 02 | Panorama
22 Mar 02 | Newsmakers
11 Sep 02 | Politics
23 Sep 02 | Middle East
23 Sep 02 | Europe
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