- 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
- 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 http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/4100927
- British agents have warned our government that Iraq,s
dictator is stepping up his bid to build a giant illegal arsenal for germ
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- "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
- "But that can only happen when its weapons of mass
destruction are shackled or destroyed.
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