advanced concepts. By 1991 the programme was supported by a large body of
Iraqi nuclear expertise, programme documentation and databases and
manufacturing infrastructure. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
reported that Iraq had:
experimented with high explosives to produce implosive shock waves;
invested significant effort to understand the various options for neutron
made significant progress in developing capabilities for the production,
casting and machining of uranium metal.
The short range mobile SCUD ballistic missile was developed by the Soviet
Union in the 1950s, drawing on the technology of the German V 2 developed
in World War II.
For many years it was the mainstay of Soviet and Warsaw Pact tactical missile
forces and it was also widely exported. Recipients of Soviet manufactured
SCUDs included Iraq, North Korea, Iran, and Libya, although not all were
sold directly by the Soviet Union.
7. Prior to the Gulf War, Iraq had a well developed ballistic missile industry.
Many of the missiles fired in the Gulf War were an Iraqi modified version
of the SCUD missile, the al Hussein, with an extended range of 650km. Iraq had
about 250 imported SCUD type missiles prior to the Gulf War plus an
unknown number of indigenously produced engines and components. Iraq was
working on other stretched SCUD variants, such as the al Abbas, which had a
range of 900km. Iraq was also seeking to reverse engineer the SCUD engine with
a view to producing new missiles. Recent intelligence indicates that they may have
succeeded at that time. In particular, Iraq had plans for a new SCUD derived
missile with a range of 1200km. Iraq also conducted a partial flight test of a multi
stage satellite launch vehicle based on SCUD technology, known as the al Abid.
Also during this period, Iraq was developing the Badr 2000, a 700 1000km range
two stage solid propellant missile (based on the Iraqi part of the 1980s CONDOR
2 programme run in co operation with Argentina and Egypt). There were plans for
1200 1500km range solid propellant follow on systems.
The use of chemical and biological weapons
8. Iraq had made frequent use of a variety of chemical weapons during the Iran
Iraq War. Many of the casualties are still in Iranian hospitals suffering from the
long term effects of numerous types of cancer and lung diseases. In 1988
Saddam also used mustard and nerve agents against Iraqi Kurds at Halabja in
northern Iraq (see box on p15). Estimates vary, but according to Human Rights
Watch up to 5,000 people were killed.