Saddam Stockpiling Deadly
Chemical Weapons
By Christina Lamb - Diplomatic Correspondent

Saddan Hussein has been illegally stockpiling an arsenal of deadly chemical and biological weapons in schools and hospitals, Western intelligence reports say.
Among the items listed are 610 tons of precursor chemicals for the production of VX, a nerve agent so deadly that one drop can kill, in addition to large quantities of growth media used to make biological weapons such as anthrax so potent that one teaspoon is enough to dissolve the kidneys, livers and lungs of a million people.
Peter Hain, the Foreign Office minister, told The Telegraph: "We have good reason to suspect that Iraq is still hiding chemical, biological and weapons of mass destruction in a range of locations."
Satellite imaging has now revealed Saddam's elite force, the Republican Guard, apparently shifting the weapons to new hiding places. The disclosures, based partly on the debriefing of defectors, come amid growing tensions over the 10-year sanction regime. There is mounting opposition from Arab states and some in Europe such as France and Russia, as the measures have failed to unseat Saddam.
Over the past month there has been a flurry of "humanitarian" flights to the newly-reopened Baghdad International airport. Aircraft from France, Ireland and Bulgaria have all landed carrying food, medicines and doctors, but one from France included artists and politicians. Others from Russia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates carried businessmen.
Critics claim that the sanctions, imposed in 1990 after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, are hurting only the old and sick. Mr Hain said, however: "There's no reason at all for anyone in Iraq to be suffering." He pointed out that Iraq is now receiving £11 billion a year under the Oil for Food programme. "This amounts to three times per capita what Egypt spends on food and medicines. If there are shortages it's because of stockpiling."
Mr Hain pointed out that before expelling the United Nations weapons inspectors in December 1998, Iraq had admitted that it was hiding chemical, biological weapons and missile parts in the desert, caves and railway tunnels.
Mr Hain said: "Sanctions are not a perfect mechanism. We want to see them suspended but only under the terms agreed at the UN which would allow back the weapons inspectors. If we just turned our back on Saddam who would defend the Kurds in the north, as well as other countries in the region from Kuwait to Israel who he constantly threatens?"
Saddam's New Arsenal
By Ian Kirby 11-18-00
British agents have warned our government that Iraq,s dictator is stepping up his bid to build a giant illegal arsenal for germ warfare.
He has scattered the weapons around hundreds of different locations " including junior schools and medical wards " to keep them hidden from western spy planes.
New evidence passed on to Foreign Office minister Peter Hain shows Saddam now has enough chemical and biological arms to launch a huge strike on Israel.
Senior security sources last night revealed they believe Saddam has stockpiled 4,000 tonnes of chemical agents and 31,000 poison gas shells.
Mr Hain warned he has the strongest proof yet that Hussein still poses a major threat to world security.
The startling evidence was obtained from western spies in Iraq and by quizzing senior defectors from Hussein,s forces.
UN weapons inspectors were last allowed into Iraq in December 1998.
Since they left, a large dump of chemical weapons shells have been hidden in bunkers inside the remote Fallujah Forest and other stocks are understood to be inside Baghdad University.
Parts of chemical warheads are also squirrelled away in the Al Azma primary school in central Baghdad and buried on the banks of the River Tigris.
Dozens of other primary schools are also understood to have been hastily converted into weapons dumps.
Thousands of innocent Iraqi children now play just yards from stockpiles of mustard gas and nerve agents like sarin, tabun and lethal VX.
One drop of VX can kill up to 10,000 people "and Saddam, left, is estimated to possess 610 tonnes of the ingredients used to make up the gas.
Last night Mr Hain said he had spoken out to the News of the World because he is concerned that many people might have forgotten how deadly Iraq,s weapons of mass destruction are.
He said: "The international community cannot afford to ignore Iraq,s hidden weapons.
"Saddam has used chemical weapons against Iran and against the Kurds of Northern Iraq at Halabja.
"He attacked them with mustard gas and tabun which killed thousands.
"We fear Iraq is taking advantage of the absence of weapons inspectors to rebuild weapons of mass destruction. If we allow Saddam to do so he will use them again.
Earlier this summer Iraq resumed ballistic missile tests despite a renewed threat of Allied bombing.
At least eight Al-Samoud missiles " designed to carry chemical weapons " have been fired since then.
And Saddam also pledged to wage a jihad " holy war " against Israel following the latest Palestinian uprising.
Mr Hain added: "We want to see the sanctions suspended, which would allow Iraq to move forward and engage with the rest of the world community.
"But that can only happen when its weapons of mass destruction are shackled or destroyed.

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