UK dossier: Iraq attack
matter of life and death

By WND Staff

Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair, in releasing his government’s dossier on the threat posed by Iraq, says the decision to oust Saddam Hussein is a matter of life and death for the people of the West.

Iraq has military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, and has tried to acquire “significant quantities” of uranium from Africa, the dossier released today said.

“Unless we face up to the threat, not only do we risk undermining the authority of the U.N., whose resolutions he defies, but more importantly and in the longer term, we place at risk the lives and prosperity of our own people,” Blair said in an introduction to the 50-page report.

The document, released hours before Parliament convened in a special session to debate possible military action against Iraq, argues that Saddam continues to develop chemical and biological weapons, is trying to acquire nuclear weapons and has extended the range of its ballistic missiles.

In predictable fashion, Iraq rejected the evidence contained in the report.

“The British prime minister is serving the campaign of lies led by Zionists against Iraq,” said Iraqi Culture Minister Hammed Youssef Hammadi. “Blair is part of this misleading campaign.”

Addressing a packed House of Commons today, Blair said Saddam risked “war, international ostracism, sanctions and the isolation of the Iraqi economy” to keep his weapons program.

“His weapons of mass destruction program is active, detailed and growing,” said Blair. “Our case is simply this: not that we take military action come what may, but that the case of insuring Iraqi disarmament as the U.N. itself has stipulated, is overwhelming.”

The report said Saddam attaches great importance to weapons of mass destruction as the basis of Iraq’s regional power.

“It shows that he does not regard them only as weapons of last resort. He is ready to use them, including against his own population, and is determined to retain them, in breach of United Nations Security Council resolutions,” the report said.

The dossier provided a highly detailed history of Iraq’s weapons program and an assessment of its current capabilities based on British and allied intelligence.

The dossier said Baghdad tried to acquire significant quantities of uranium from Africa and has covertly tried to acquire technology and materials for the production of nuclear weapons.

If U.N. sanctions against Iraq were lifted, Saddam could develop a nuclear weapon within 12 months to two years, said the dossier.

Iraq has retained up to 20 al-Hussein missiles with a range of 400 miles, capable of carrying chemical or biological warheads, and is working to increase the range of other missiles, the report said.