Iraq Survey Group to concede defeat in search for WMD

Click to follow
The Independent US

The Iraq Survey Group is expected to report today that it has found no evidence of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in post-war Iraq.

The Iraq Survey Group is expected to report today that it has found no evidence of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in post-war Iraq.

Charles Duelfer, the chief UN arms inspector in Iraq, is due to present the findings in a 1,500-page report to Congress.

He is expected to conclude that Iraq had neither weapons of mass destruction, nor significant WMD production programmes at the time of the invasion. However, he will assert that Saddam Hussein had plans to produce weapons once UN sanctions were lifted, according to US officials.

The verdict of Mr Duelfer, who will present the findings to the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been widely anticipated since the resignation of David Kay, the former head of the Iraq Survey Group, in January. When he stepped down, Mr Kay voiced serious concerns about allegations of weapons stockpiles. "We were probably all wrong about whether Iraq had stockpiles of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons," he said.

There were claims last night that the report would reveal new evidence that Saddam had planned to break UN-imposed sanctions and renew the production of banned weapons.

Anonymous US officials told The New York Times that the report would detail efforts by Iraq to sidestep the sanctions while undermining international support for them. This was reportedly manifested in the use of clandestine laboratories to manufacture small amounts of chemical and biological weapons for use in assassinations, according to the officials.

Today's document will stop short of offering a final judgement about the situation before the war. The Iraq Survey Group is expected to continue translating and evaluating an estimated 10,000 boxes of documents seized in Iraq.

Comments