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 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.


  • 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


  • 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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  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"

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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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