Iraq and weapons of mass destruction

Knowledge Identifier: $Iraq_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

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Iraq and weapons of mass destruction

Military nuclear program of Iraqadd

Category: Military

Launched in 1959.

Countries: Iraq (54%), United States (13%), U.S. (12%)

Main connections: United Nations, Saddam Hussein, Hans Blix

Linked to: Iraq Survey Group, Arms Control Association, CNN, NBC

 

Timeline


 

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1959

Yet an agreement of co-operation was signed on April 15, which superseded the one from 1959 add something


1970

In the early 1970s, Saddam Hussein ordered the creation of a clandestine nuclear weapons program add something

 

Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs were assisted by a wide variety of firms and governments in the 1970s and 1980s add something


1971

Iraq had a smallpox outbreak in 1971 and the Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation and Arms Control Center believed the Iraqi government retained contaminated material add something


1977

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto - In early 1977, Bhutto decided to use "ISI" to provide the credible intelligence on Iraqi nuclear program that Pakistan and the "ISI" had secretly gained


1980

Iraq War - The fifth president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, was internationally known for his use of chemical weapons in the 1980s against Iranian and Kurdish civilians during and after the Iran–Iraq War add something

 

As part of Project 922, German firms such as Karl Kobe helped build Iraqi chemical weapons facilities such as laboratories, bunkers, an administrative building, and first production buildings in the early 1980s under the cover of a pesticide plant add something

 

In 1980 the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency filed a report stating that Iraq had been actively acquiring chemical weapons capacities for several years, which later proved to be accurate add something

 

In the 1980s he pursued an extensive biological weapons program and a nuclear weapons program, though no nuclear bomb was built add something

 

In the late 1980s, the British government secretly gave the arms company Matrix Churchill permission to supply parts for Saddam Hussein's weapons program, while British Industry supplied Gerald Bull as he developed the Iraqi supergun add something

 

The Iraq Survey Group later concluded that the shell "probably originated with a batch that was stored in a Al Muthanna CW complex basement during the late 1980s for the purpose of leakage testing add something

 

The munitions addressed in the report were produced in the 1980s, Maples said add something


1981

Iraq's nuclear weapons program suffered a serious setback in 1981 when the Osiraq reactor, which would have been capable of breeding weapons-useable nuclear material, was bombed by Israel before it could be commissioned add something


1983

This work allowed Iraq to produce 150 tons of mustard agent and 60 tons of Tabun in 1983 and 1984 respectively, continuing throughout the decade add something


1984

By 1984, Iraq was using poison gas with great effectiveness against Iranian "human wave" attacks add something

 

The "Washington Post" reported that in 1984 the CIA secretly started providing intelligence to the Iraqi army during the Iran-Iraq War. This included information to target chemical weapons strikes add something


1986

On March 21, 1986 the United Nation Security Council recognized that "chemical weapons on many occasions have been used by Iraqi forces against Iranian forces"; this statement was opposed by the United States, the sole country to vote against it in the Security Council add something


1988

In 1988, German engineers presented centrifuge data that helped Iraq expand its nuclear weapons program add something

 

Iraq's hospital consumption of growth medium was just 200 kg a year; yet in 1988, Iraq imported 39 tons of it add something

 

It said the shells "had been buried near the Iranian border, and long forgotten, by Iraqi troops during their eight-year war with Iran, which ended in 1988 add something

 

Later that year the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988, cutting off all U.S. assistance to Iraq and stopping U.S. imports of Iraqi oil add something

 

On March 23, 1988 western media sources reported from Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan, that several days before Iraq had launched a large scale chemical assault on the town add something


1989

The non-profit American Type Culture Collection and the Centers for Disease Control sold or sent biological samples of anthrax, West Nile virus and botulism to Iraq up until 1989, which Iraq claimed it needed for medical research add something


1990

After the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War, the United Nations located and destroyed large quantities of Iraqi chemical weapons and related equipment and materials throughout the early 1990s, with varying degrees of Iraqi cooperation and obstruction add something

 

Associated Press reported, "Repeatedly in the transcripts, Saddam and his lieutenants remind each other that Iraq destroyed its chemical and biological weapons in the early 1990s, and shut down those programs and the nuclear-bomb program, which had never produced a weapon add something

 

Because in 1990, he didn't work for the Iraqi nuclear program add something

 

The United Nations Special Commission on Iraq was set up after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait to inspect Iraqi weapons facilities add something

 

In March 1990, a case of nuclear triggers bound for Iraq, were seized at Heathrow Airport add something

 

UNSCOM learned that, in August 1990, after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Taha's team was ordered to set up a program to weaponize the biological agents add something

 

On August 2, 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait and was widely condemned internationally add something


1991

An international coalition of nations, led by the United States, liberated Kuwait in 1991 add something

 

New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991 add something

 

The production facilities were "put out of commission" by airstrikes during the 1991 conflict, while U.N. personnel afterward secured the chemical munitions in the bunkers add something

 

By January 1991, a team of 100 scientists and support staff had filled 157 bombs and 16 missile warheads with botulin toxin, and 50 bombs and five missile warheads with anthrax add something

 

In April 1991 Iraq provided its first of what would be several declarations of its chemical weapons programs add something

 

In August 1991 Iraq had declared to the UNSCOM biological inspection team that it did indeed have a biological weapons program but that it was for defensive purposes add something


1995

In 1995, UNSCOM's principal weapons inspector, Dr. Rod Barton from Australia, showed Taha documents obtained by UNSCOM that showed the Iraqi government had just purchased 10 tons of growth medium from a British company called Oxoid add something

 

In fact, in 1995, Iraq told the United Nations that it had produced at least 30,000 liters of biological agents, including anthrax and other toxins it could put on missiles, but that all of it had been destroyed add something

 

A second disclosure of the biological weapons came in March 1995 add something

 

Further UNSCOM pressure resulted in a third prohibited biological weapons disclosure from Iraq in August 1995 add something

 

Ritter writes that they discovered the records for July and August 1995 were missing add something


1996

At one 1996 presidential meeting, top weapons program official Amer Mohammed Rashid, describes his conversation with UN weapons inspector Rolf Ekeus: "We don't have anything to hide, so we're giving you all the details add something

 

The facility was destroyed by UNSCOM in 1996 add something

 

More declarations would follow in June 1996 and September 1997 add something


1998

In 1998 the UNSCOM weapons inspectors left Iraq add something

 

In 1998, UNSCOM was withdrawn at the request of the United States before Operation Desert Fox add something

 

In August, 1998, absent effective monitoring, Scott Ritter remarked that Iraq could "reconstitute chemical biological weapons, long-range ballistic missiles to deliver these weapons, and even certain aspects of their nuclear weaponization program add something

 

In response to diminishing Iraqi cooperation with UNSCOM, the United States called for withdrawal of all UN and IAEA inspectors in 1998, resulting in Operation Desert Fox add something

 

There is dispute about whether Iraq still had WMD programs after 1998 and whether its cooperation with the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission was complete add something

 

There were no weapon inspections in Iraq for nearly four years after the UN departed from Iraq in 1998, and Iraq asserted that they would never be invited back add something

 

In August 1998, Ritter resigned his position as UN weapons inspector and sharply criticized the Clinton administration and the UN Security Council for not being vigorous enough about insisting that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction be destroyed add something


1999

According to a 1999 report from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, the normally mild-mannered Taha exploded into violent rages whenever UNSCOM questioned her about al-Hakam, shouting, screaming and, on one occasion, smashing a chair, while insisting that al-Hakam was a chicken-feed plant add something

 

According to former weapons inspector Scott Ritter in his 1999 book Endgame: Solving the Iraq Crisis, UNSCOM learned that, between July 1 and August 15, 1995, 50 prisoners from the Abu Ghraib prison were transferred to a military post in al-Haditha, in the northwest of Iraq add something


2000

In June 2000, he penned a piece for Arms Control Today entiled "The Case for Iraq's Qualitative Disarmament" add something


2001

In 2001 Saddam stated that "we are not at all seeking to build up weapons or look for the most harmful weapons add something


2002

During the 2002–2003 build-up to war Ritter criticized the Bush administration and maintained that it had provided no credible evidence that Iraq had reconstituted a significant WMD capability add something

 

In 2002, Scott Ritter, a former UNSCOM weapons inspector heavily criticized the Bush administration and media outlets for using the testimony of alleged former Iraqi nuclear scientist Khidir Hamza, who defected from Iraq in 1994, as a rationale for invading Iraq; add something

 

In late 2002 Saddam Hussein, in a letter to Hans Blix, invited UN weapons inspectors back into the country add something

 

Pitt, William R. "War On Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know" 2002, Context Books, New York add something

 

In an interview with "Time" in September 2002 Ritter said there were attempts to use UNSCOM for spying on Iraq add something

 

The International Institute for Strategic Studies in Britain published in September 2002 a review of Iraq's military capability, and concluded that Iraq could assemble nuclear weapons within months if fissile material from foreign sources were obtained add something

 

Inspections by the UN to resolve the status of unresolved disarmament questions restarted from November 2002 until March 2003, under UN Security Council Resolution 1441, which demanded Saddam give "immediate, unconditional and active cooperation" with UN and IAEA inspections, shortly before his country was attacked add something


2003

After he was captured by U.S. forces in Baghdad in 2003, Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, who ran Saddam's nuclear centrifuge program until 1997, handed over blueprints for a nuclear centrifuge along with some actual centrifuge components, stored at his home buried in the front yard awaiting orders from Baghdad to proceed add something

 

Beginning in 2003, the ISG had uncovered remnants of Iraq's 1980s-era WMD programs add something

 

Engineering work was reportedly underway in early 2003, despite the presence of UNMOVIC. This program was not declared to the UN." add something

 

In the buildup to the 2003 war, the "New York Times" published a number of stories claiming to prove that Iraq possessed WMD. One story in particular, written by Judith Miller helped persuade the American public that Iraq had WMD: in September 2002 she wrote about an intercepted shipment of aluminum tubes which the NYT said were to be used to develop nuclear material add something

 

Intelligence shortly before the 2003 invasion of Iraq was heavily used as support arguments in favor of military intervention, with the October 2002 C.I.A. report on Iraqi WMDs considered to be the most reliable one available at that time add something

 

Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, several reported finds of chemical weapons were announced add something

 

The United States and the UK asserted that Saddam Hussein still possessed large hidden stockpiles of WMD in 2003, and that he was clandestinely procuring and producing more add something

 

The poison block was discovered in a raid of the safe-house on January 23 of 2003 add something

 

The trailers had been a key part of the argument for the 2003 invasion; Secretary of State Colin Powell had told the United Nations Security Council, "We have firsthand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails add something

 

"'Operation Iraqi Freedom documents"' refers to some 48,000 boxes of documents, audiotapes and videotapes that were captured by the U.S. military during the 2003 invasion of Iraq add something

 

Office of National Assessments - In 2003, in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, an ONA intelligence officer named Andrew Wilkie resigned from the agency, citing ethical concerns in relation to selective and exaggerated use of intelligence by the Australian Government on the matter of Iraq and weapons of mass destruction

 

Andrew Wilkie - In the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war, the Australian, British and United States governments were asserting that intelligence reports showed that Iraq held weapons of mass destruction

 

Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said in January 2003 that "access has been provided to all sites we have wanted to inspect" and Iraq had "cooperated rather well" in that regard, although "Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance of the disarmament add something

 

However, Hans Blix said in late January 2003 that Iraq had "not genuinely accepted UN resolutions demanding that it disarm add something

 

In January 2003, United Nations weapons inspectors reported that they had found no indication that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons or an active program add something

 

During the lead-up to war in March 2003, United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix said that Iraq made significant progress toward resolving open issues of disarmament noting the "proactive" but not always "immediate" cooperation as called for by UN Security Council Resolution 1441 add something

 

On March 17, 2003, Lord Goldsmith, Attorney General of the UK, set out his government's legal justification for an invasion of Iraq add something

 

On June 20, 2003, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that tons of uranium, as well as other radioactive materials such as thorium, had been recovered, and that the vast majority had remained on site add something

 

On May 27, 2003, a secret Defense Intelligence Agency fact-finding mission in Iraq reported unanimously to intelligence officials in Washington that two trailers captured in Iraq by Kurdish troops "had nothing to do with biological weapons add something

 

On May 29, 2003, Andrew Gilligan appears on the "BBC's Today" program early in the morning add something

 

On May 30, 2003, Paul Wolfowitz stated in an interview with "Vanity Fair" magazine that the issue of weapons of mass destruction was the point of greatest agreement among Bush's team among the reasons to remove Saddam Hussein from power add something

 

On May 30, 2003, The U.S. Department of Defense briefed the media that it was ready to formally begin the work of the Iraq Survey Group , a fact finding mission from the coalition of the Iraq occupation into the WMD programs developed by Iraq, taking over from the British-American 75th Exploitation Task Force add something

 

On June 4, 2003, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts announced that the U.S. Select Committee on Intelligence that he chaired would, as a part of its ongoing oversight of the intelligence community, conduct a Review of intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction add something

 

On July 17, 2003, the British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in an address to the U.S. Congress, that history would forgive the United States and United Kingdom, even if they were wrong about weapons of mass destruction add something

 

A poll conducted between June and September 2003 asked people whether they thought evidence of WMD had been discovered in Iraq since the war ended add something

 

On October 3, 2003, the world digests David Kay's Iraq Survey Group report that finds no stockpiles of WMD in Iraq, although it states the government intended to develop more weapons with additional capabilities add something

 

This was still the position of Saddam Hussein in his December 2003 captivity add something


2004

The Washington Post reported that "the U.S. military announced in 2004 in Iraq that several crates of the old shells had been uncovered and that they contained a blister agent that was no longer active add something

 

A post-war case occurred on January 9, 2004, when Icelandic munitions experts and Danish military engineers discovered 36 120-mm mortar rounds containing liquid buried in Southern Iraq add something

 

In a January 26, 2004 interview with Tom Brokaw of NBC news, Mr. Kay described Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs as being in a "rudimentary" stage add something

 

On February 3, 2004, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw announced an independent inquiry, to be chaired by Lord Butler of Brockwell, to examine the reliability of British intelligence relating to alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq add something

 

On February 6, 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush named an Iraq Intelligence Commission, chaired by Charles Robb and Laurence Silberman, to investigate U.S. intelligence, specifically regarding the 2003 invasion of Iraq and Iraq's weapons of mass destruction add something

 

On February 8, 2004, Dr Hans Blix, in an interview on BBC TV, accused the U.S. and UK governments of dramatising the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the government of Saddam Hussein add something

 

In May 2004 the New York Times published an editorial which stated that its journalism in the build up to war had sometimes been lax add something

 

On May 2, 2004, a shell containing mustard gas was found in the middle of a street west of Baghdad add something

 

On May 16, 2004, a 152 mm artillery shell was used as an improvised bomb add something

 

In June 2004, the United States removed 2 tons of low-enriched uranium from Iraq, sufficient raw material for a single nuclear weapon add something

 

In an interview with BBC in June 2004, David Kay, former head of the Iraq Survey Group, made the following comment: add something

 

On July 9, 2004, the Committee released the Senate Report of Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq add something

 

The Butler Review was published July 14, 2004 add something

 

The survey group's final report in September 2004 15 months after the technical report was written said the trailers were "impractical" for biological weapons production and were "almost certainly intended" for manufacturing hydrogen for weather balloons add something

 

On October 6, 2004, the head of the Iraq Survey Group , Charles Duelfer, announced to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee that the group found no evidence that Iraq under Saddam Hussein had produced and stockpiled any weapons of mass destruction since 1991, when UN sanctions were imposed add something


2005

The United States abandoned its search for WMDs in Iraq on January 12, 2005 add something

 

General Tommy Franks December 2, 2005 add something


2006

It is still classified, but a "Washington Post" report of April 12, 2006 disclosed some of the details of the report add something

 

On June 21, 2006 Rick Santorum claimed that "we have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons", citing a declassified June 6 letter to Pete Hoekstra saying that since the 2003 invasion, a total of "approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent" had been found scattered throughout the country add something

 

On June 21, 2006 the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released key points from a classified report from the National Ground Intelligence Center on the recovery of a small number of degraded chemical munitions in Iraq add something

 

On August 21, 2006, the trial of Saddam Hussein and six codefendants, including Hassan al-Majid , opened on charges of genocide against the Kurds add something


2008

Bush later said that the biggest regret of his presidency was "the intelligence failure" in Iraq, while the Senate Intelligence Committee found in 2008 that his administration "misrepresented the intelligence and the threat from Iraq" add something

 

On July 2008, 550 metric tonnes of "yellowcake" the last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program, a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium, arrived in Montreal as part of a top-secret U.S. operation add something


2009

Iraq became a member state of the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2009, declaring "two bunkers with filled and unfilled chemical weapons munitions, some precursors, as well as five former chemical weapons production facilities" according to OPCW Director General Rogelio Pfirter add something


2014

In October 2014, the New York Times reported that U.S. servicemen had been exposed and injured during the disposal and destruction of abandoned 4,990 chemical weapons that had been discovered in Iraq add something


2015

In 2015 a clandestine military intelligence operation from 2005, Operation Avarice, Army intelligence and the CIA learned that buried chemical weapons were in the possession of a single unnamed individual who agreed to sell them for an undisclosed amount add something

 

In 2015, however, it was learned that Iraq had neglected to fully dismantle its weapons program add something

 

In 2015, it was declassified that military intelligence had recovered over 400 warheads and missiles containing chemical agents as part of a covert mission to buy the weapons from an unidentified Iraqi source who had knowledge or possession of all the weapons stockpiles add something


2018

The destruction of these remnants was completed in 2018 add something