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Prepared by the Iraqi National Congress
London, England



The Gulf War damaged, but certainly did not stop, Saddam Hussein’s efforts to build his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) arsenal. Since 1991, the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have been given responsibility by the UN Security Council to find and dismantle all of Iraq's biological, chemical, nuclear, and ballistic missile programmers. Following the regime's continuous obstruction of these agencies, all UNSCOM and IAEA inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq on December 15, 1998. In reality there have been no serious inspections since the end of 1997.

On the basis of the experience of these agencies over the previous seven years, the world’s WMD experts have concluded that enough weapons production components and data remain hidden and enough expertise has been retained or developed in Iraq to enable Saddam Hussein to continue production of WMD at will. This ability has been enhanced with the departure of the inspectors. The experts also believe that Iraq maintains a ready force of Scud missiles and stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. The absence of inspectors virtually assures that these weapons, as well as additional missiles to deliver them, can be produced without detection. Since Saddam Hussein has already demonstrated the will to deploy these weapons (having used chemical munitions against his own Kurdish population and in Iraq’s war with Iran), there is every reason to believe that, left unchecked, he will use this arsenal to attack opponents at home and abroad.

Biological weapons: Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, Hussein Kamil, revealed (and Iraq later admitted) the existence of an offensive biological warfare capability in Iraq including anthrax, botulinum toxin, ricin, and aflatoxin. Iraq is known to have developed these agents for use in Scud warheads, aerial bombs, and aerial dispensers, as well as other means of delivery. Various sources indicate that Baghdad was almost certainly capable of resuming production of these and other weapons within days of the end of inspections in 1998.

Chemical weapons: Iraq has an advanced programme and substantial experience in the production, storage and use of chemical weapons, including mustard agent and nerve agents such as Sarin, Tabun, and VX. Experts believe Baghdad retains the expertise to continue production and probably stepped up production within weeks of the departure of inspectors.

Nuclear weapons: Saddam Hussein had a comprehensive nuclear weapons development programme before the Gulf War that was focused on building an implosion-type weapon. Iraq has admitted experimenting with seven uranium enrichment techniques and was actively pursuing expertise in electromagnetic isotope separation, gas centrifuge, and gas diffusion techniques. Iraq retains a large cadre of nuclear engineers, scientists, and technicians who are the foundation of a nuclear programme. It is suspected that Saddam has assembled at least three atomic bombs and only requires sufficient fissile material to have a true nuclear capability.

Ballistic missiles: Before the Gulf war, Baghdad had an active missile force of 819 Soviet-built Scuds. Saddam has also acquired Chinese and Korean Scuds. While many have been used or destroyed, Iraq may have surreptitiously removed key components from these missiles before destruction and probably has the capability to produce indigenous missile systems more capable than Scuds. The regime has probably continued to receive parts for these systems through clandestine procurement networks.





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As of August 2006, Iraq Watch is no longer being updated. Click here for more information.

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