This reference file is an inventory and critical analysis of the claims
made about the weapons and programmes that Iraq is proscribed from having
under the terms of Security Council Resolutions 687 (1991), paragraphs
10 and 12: that is, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as
ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150km.
It is not about Iraq's overall compliance with that resolution or subsequent
resolutions on Iraq, including SCR 1441 (2002). For example, it does not
attempt to analyse the extent of Iraq's obstruction of inspectors from
UNSCOM, UNMOVIC or IAEA. It is instead a presentation of what is actually
known about the weapons and programmes themselves. For the UN inspectors
currently in Iraq, discovering what is unknown about the history and present
status of these items is the task at hand. Inspectors must engage with
the possibility of Iraq's retention or development of non-conventional
weapons, and report to the Security Council on this basis. However, a
set of evaluations can also be made of the likelihood of Iraq's
non-conventional weapons programmes, given the material available. No
overall judgements are made in this reference file, but material is presented
that should allow a more well informed opinion to be reached.
The author of this reference file is Dr Glen Rangwala, an independent
analyst at the University of Cambridge, UK. If any of the technical
claims made below are incorrect or incomplete, such mistakes have not
been made in a deliberate attempt to mislead the reader: corrections and
clarifications would be greatly appreciated. Contact details are
at the end of this page.
The claims examined here about Iraq's weapons and weapons programmes are
taken largely from reports of branches of the US and UK governments. The
following sources have been used most extensively:
- US Department of State, "A
Decade of Deception and Defiance" (12 September 2002). This
is a background paper to President G.W. Bush's speech to the UN General
Assembly of 12 September [hereafter, "State Department, 12 September
Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government"
(24 September 2002). Produced by the UK Joint Intelligence Committee
(JIC) [hereafter, "UK dossier, 24 September 2002"].
- President G.W. Bush, Speech
on 7 October 2002, at Cincinnati Museum Center, Ohio [hereafter,
"President Bush, 7 October 2002"].
- US Department of Defense, "Iraqi
Denial and Deception for Weapons of Mass Destruction & Ballistic Missile
Programs" (8 October 2002) [hereafter, "Department of
Defense, 8 October 2002"].
- US Central Intelligence Agency, "Iraq's
Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs" (October 2002) [hereafter,
"CIA, October 2002"].
- US Department of State, "Fact
Sheet: Illustrative Examples of Omissions From the Iraqi Declaration
to the United Nations Security Council" (19 December 2002)
[hereafter, "State Department, 19 December 2002"].
- US White House, "What
Does Disarmament Look Like?" (23 January 2003) [hereafter,
"White House, January 2003"].
- Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, "Remarks
at the World Economic Forum", Davos, Switzerland (26
January 2003) [hereafter, "Secretary Powell, 26 January 2003"].
- President George W. Bush, "State
of the Union Address" (28 January 2003) [hereafter, "President
Bush, 28 January 2003"]
- Secretary of State Colin Powell, "Remarks
to The United Nations Security Council" (5 February 2003) [hereafter,
"Secretary Powell, 5 February 2003"] - a specific response
- US State Department, "Iraq's
Hidden Weapons: Failing to Disclose and Disarm" (27 February
2003) [hereafter, "State
Department, 27 February 2003"]
The evaluation of these claims is made using a broader variety of sources.
of the United Nations Special
Commission (UNSCOM) from 1991 to 1999. In particular, its final
of 25 January 1999 (annex to doc. S/1999/94).
of the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA), and its factsheet
of 25 April 2002 entitled "Iraq's Nuclear Weapons Programme".
- Press releases of the United
Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC)
since the resumption of inspections in November 2002.
- Updates and reports to the Security Council by UNMOVIC executive
chairman Hans Blix (19
December 2002, 9
January 2003, 27
January 2003, 14
February 2003, 7
March 2003) and IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei (19
December 2002, 9
January 2003, 27
January 2003 (and report),
February 2003, 7
- UNMOVIC Working Document of 6 March 2003: "Unresolved
Disarmament Issues: Iraq's Proscribed Weapons Programmes"
- Published testimony of UN weapons inspectors and former inspectors.
- The Persian Gulf War Illnesses Task Force of the US Department
- Briefings of the Congressional Research Service from 1996 to
the present, listed here.
- Strategic assessments of credible institutions, particularly
the Center for Strategic and International
Studies (CSIS), the Institute
for Science and International Security (ISIS), and the International
Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
- Credible press reports on facilities inside Iraq and imports
- Consultation with independent experts in the fields of relevance.