1. Under Saddam Hussein Iraq developed chemical and biological weapons,
acquired missiles allowing it to attack neighbouring countries with these
weapons and persistently tried to develop a nuclear bomb. Saddam has used
chemical weapons, both against Iran and against his own people. Following the
Gulf War, Iraq had to admit to all this. And in the ceasefire of 1991 Saddam
agreed unconditionally to give up his weapons of mass destruction.
2. Much information about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction is already in the
public domain from UN reports and from Iraqi defectors. This points clearly to
Iraq's continuing possession, after 1991, of chemical and biological agents and
weapons produced before the Gulf War. It shows that Iraq has refurbished sites
formerly associated with the production of chemical and biological agents. And
it indicates that Iraq remains able to manufacture these agents, and to use bombs,
shells, artillery rockets and ballistic missiles to deliver them.
3. An independent and well researched overview of this public evidence was
provided by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) on
9 September. The IISS report also suggested that Iraq could assemble nuclear
weapons within months of obtaining fissile material from foreign sources.
4. As well as the public evidence, however, significant additional information is
available to the Government from secret intelligence sources, described in more
detail in this paper. This intelligence cannot tell us about everything. However,
it provides a fuller picture of Iraqi plans and capabilities. It shows that Saddam
Hussein attaches great importance to possessing weapons of mass destruction
which he regards as the basis for Iraq's regional power. It shows that he does not
regard them only as weapons of last resort. He is ready to use them, including
against his own population, and is determined to retain them, in breach of United
Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR).
5. Intelligence also shows that Iraq is preparing plans to conceal evidence of these
weapons, including incriminating documents, from renewed inspections. And it
confirms that despite sanctions and the policy of containment, Saddam has
continued to make progress with his illicit weapons programmes.
6. As a result of the intelligence we judge that Iraq has:
continued to produce chemical and biological agents;
military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, including
against its own Shia population. Some of these weapons are deployable
within 45 minutes of an order to use them;
command and control arrangements in place to use chemical and biological
weapons. Authority ultimately resides with Saddam Hussein. (There is
intelligence that he may have delegated this authority to his son Qusai);