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Last Updated: Monday, 2 June, 2003, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
In quotes: Blair and Iraq weapons
There are growing calls for an inquiry into the government's claims about Saddam Hussein's weapons programmes.

Ex-cabinet ministers Clare Short and Robin Cook have both argued evidence about Iraq's weapons was hyped up before the war.

So what claims did the prime minister make about Saddam's weapons? Here are some of his key quotes.

10 April 2002

"Saddam Hussein's regime is despicable, he is developing weapons of mass destruction, and we cannot leave him doing so unchecked.

"He is a threat to his own people and to the region and, if allowed to develop these weapons, a threat to us also.

"Doing nothing is not an option ... Our way of proceeding should be and will be measured, calm and thought through."
House of Commons

24 September 2002

"(Saddam's) weapons of mass destruction programme is active, detailed and growing. The policy of containment is not working. The weapons of mass destruction programme is not shut down. It is up and running....

"The intelligence picture (the intelligence services) paint is one accumulated over the past four years. It is extensive, detailed and authoritative.

"It concludes that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, that Saddam has continued to produce them, that he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes, including against his own Shia population; and that he is actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability....

"On chemical weapons, the dossier shows that Iraq continues to produce chemical agent for chemical weapons; has rebuilt previously destroyed production plants across Iraq; has bought dual-use chemical facilities; has retained the key personnel formerly engaged in the chemical weapons programme; and has a serious ongoing research programme into weapons production, all of it well funded..."
House of Commons

25 February 2003

"The intelligence is clear: (Saddam) continues to believe his WMD programme is essential both for internal repression and for external aggression.

"It is essential to his regional power. Prior to the inspectors coming back in he was engaged in a systematic exercise in concealment of the weapons.

"The biological agents we believe Iraq can produce include anthrax, botulinum, toxin, aflatoxin and ricin. All eventually result in excruciatingly painful death."
House of Commons

11 March 2003

"We have 300,000 troops down there now sitting on his doorstep. You've got the UN inspectors in. It's unlikely at this very moment in time as we speak that Saddam is going to do anything; that's true.

"But what happened before when he was first given the opportunity to disarm completely was in April 1991 and he was given 15 days then to come forward with an honest declaration of what he had...

"If we don't act now, then we will go back to what has happened before and then of course the whole thing begins again and he carries on developing these weapons and these are dangerous weapons, particularly if they fall into the hands of terrorists who we know want to use these weapons if they can get them."
MTV debate

18 March 2003

"We are asked now seriously to accept that in the last few years-contrary to all history, contrary to all intelligence-Saddam decided unilaterally to destroy those weapons. I say that such a claim is palpably absurd."
House of Commons

The BBC's Carolyn Quinn
"Robin Cook says the government has made a monumental blunder"

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