its chemical and biological weapons programme. Intelligence indicates that
Saddam has learnt lessons from previous weapons inspections, has
identified possible weak points in the inspections process and knows how to
exploit them. Sensitive equipment and papers can easily be concealed and in
some cases this is already happening. The possession of mobile biological
agent production facilities will also aid concealment efforts. Saddam is
determined not to lose the capabilities that he has been able to develop
further in the four years since inspectors left.
G
Saddam's willingness to use chemical and biological weapons:
intelligence indicates that as part of Iraq's military planning Saddam is
willing to use chemical and biological weapons, including against his own
Shia population. Intelligence indicates that the Iraqi military are able to
deploy chemical or biological weapons within 45 minutes of an order to do
so.
Chemical and biological agents: surviving stocks
6. When confronted with questions about the unaccounted stocks, Iraq has claimed
repeatedly that if it had retained any chemical agents from before the Gulf War
they would have deteriorated sufficiently to render them harmless. But Iraq has
admitted to UNSCOM to having the knowledge and capability to add stabiliser
to nerve agent and other chemical warfare agents which would prevent such
decomposition. In 1997 UNSCOM also examined some munitions which had
been filled with mustard gas prior to 1991 and found that they remained very
toxic and showed little sign of deterioration.
7. Iraq has claimed that all its biological agents and weapons have been destroyed.
No convincing proof of any kind has been produced to support this claim. In
particular, Iraq could not explain large discrepancies between the amount of
growth media (nutrients required for the specialised growth of agent) it procured
before 1991 and the amounts of agent it admits to having manufactured. The
discrepancy is enough to produce more than three times the amount of anthrax
allegedly manufactured.
Chemical agent: production capabilities
8. Intelligence shows that Iraq has continued to produce chemical agent. During
the Gulf War a number of facilities which intelligence reporting indicated were
directly or indirectly associated with Iraq's chemical weapons effort were
attacked and damaged. Following the ceasefire UNSCOM destroyed or rendered
harmless facilities and equipment used in Iraq's chemical weapons programme.
Other equipment was released for civilian use either in industry or academic
institutes, where it was tagged and regularly inspected and monitored, or else
placed under camera monitoring, to ensure that it was not being misused. This
monitoring ceased when UNSCOM withdrew from Iraq in 1998. However,
capabilities remain and, although the main chemical weapon production facility
at al Muthanna was completely destroyed by UNSCOM and has not been
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