The question as to whether or not Iraq actually used chemical weapon-loaded Scud missiles during the 1991 Gulf War is still an open one. Further to this, there still remain outstanding questions about the claims that Iraq possessed illegally-retained Scud Missiles in the period prior to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. There is no complete record to draw upon and no one organisation has ever been seen to have compiled an exhaustive and comprehensive analysis.

- A review by a former member of the Dhahran Scud Watchers Club


#8 - FCO Counter Proliferation Department FOIA Request
Reference Number FCO 0866-08



Sunday October 12 2008 at approximately 14.30

(Submitted by E-mail to xxxxxxx.xxxxxx@fco.gov.uk)

XX Landemann Circus
Weston Super Mare
North Somerset
BS23 2QE

For the attention of:

Mr XXXXX XXXXXXXX
Deputy Head
Counter Proliferation Department
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

12 October 2008



Dear Mr XXXXXXXX

I confirm that I am in receipt of your letter to me dated 09 October 2008 informing me of your decision regarding my requesting an Internal Review relating to my Freedom of Information Act request reference number 0529-08.

In light of this decision I now wish to make a new FOIA request to determine:

Which parts of Iraq's ballistic missile declaration which formed section IV of the December 7th 2002 CAFCD are contained in the redacted version of the documentation which was sent to London for analysis following my earlier FOIA request?

(For reference purposes:)

IV. Ballistic missile declaration

Pages

Introduction.................................................................................................................................................................1

Chapter 1: Chronological summary of the programme for ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres................................................................................................................................................................2-11

Chapter 2: Organizational chart of the programme for ballistic missile projects................................................................................................................................................................699 [sic]

Chapter 3: Detailed information on projects and status of current activities.............................................................12-710

Chapter 4: Forms concerning ballistic missile systems and initial designs..............................................................711-824

Chapter 5: Details of projects and of procurement for 11 projects.
Paragraph 4 of chapter 5 -- relations with States, companies, establishments and main suppliers..............................................................................................................................................................825-836

Chapter 6: Actual use of ballistic missile power.................................................................................................................................................................837-1194

Chapter 7: Relationship with proscribed activities in other fields................................................................................................................................................................1195-1206

Chapter 8: Chronological summary: Ibn Firnas Company for remotely piloted aircraft.............................................................................................................................................................1207-1211

List of supporting documents.......................................................................................................................................................1212-1240

Annex containing supporting documents (5,074 pages)


Yours sincerely

Andrew XXXXX

Scudwatch.Org

Phone: 01934 4136XX



First response from the Counter Proliferation Department of the FCO



07 November 2008

Counter Proliferation Department
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Tel: 020 7008 30XX
Fax: 020 7008 38XX
E-mail: xx-xxxx.xxxxxxx@fco.gov.uk

Mr Andrew XXXXXX
XX Landemann Circus
Weston Super Mare
North Somerset
BS23 2QE

Dear Mr XXXXX

Freedom of Information Requests Reference: FCO 0866-08

I am writing with regard to your Freedom of Information request, reference 0866-08.

Thank you for your letter dated 12 October 2008 confirming clarification of the above request.

The FOI Act obliges us to respond to requests promptly and in any case no later than 20 working days after receiving your request. However, when a qualified exemption is engaged and the public interest test is being considered, the Act allows the time for response to be longer than 20 working days, and a full response must be provided within such time as is reasonable in all circumstances of the case. We do, of course, aim to make all decisions within 20 working days, including in cases where we need to consider where the public interest lies in respect of a request. In this case, however, we have not yet reached a decision on where the balance of the public interest test lies.

In your case we estimate that it will take an additional 20 working days to take a decision on where the balance of the public interest lies. Therefore, we plan to let you have a response by 08 December 2008. If it appears that it will take longer than this to reach a conclusion, we will keep you informed.

The specific exemption which is engaged in relation to your request is Section 27 (international relations).

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request an internal review of our decision you should write to me at xx-xxxx.xxxxxxx@fco.gov.uk, or at the address above. You have 40 working days to do so.

If you are not content with the outcome of that internal review, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaint procedure provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely,

XX-XXXX XXXXXXX

Counter Proliferation Department



Final response from the Counter Proliferation Department of the FCO



15 December 2008

K317
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Tel: 020 7008 34XX
Fax: 020 7008 38XX
E-mail: xx-xxxx.xxxxxxx@fco.gov.uk



Mr Andrew XXXXX
XX Landemann Circus
Weston Super Mare
North Somerset
BS23 2QE

Dear Mr XXXXXX,

Freedom of Information Request Reference: 0866-08

I refer to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("the Act") for

"Which parts of Iraq's ballistic missile declaration which formed section IV of the December 7th 2002 CAFCD are contained in the redacted version of the documentation which was sent to London for analysis following my earlier FOIA request?"

I can confirm that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has now completed its assessment of the information which you requested on 12 October and must inform you that the information you requested is exempt from release under sections 27(1)(a) and 27(2) of the Freedom of Information Act.

Section 27 of the Act requires the application of a public interest test. In reaching this decision I have considered both the factors in favour of release balanced against the factors in favour of withholding the information.

Releasing the information would demonstrate our openness and accountability as it would increase public knowledge of the issues we deal with and help to inform debate. However, balanced against this, we have judged that the factors in favour of withholding the information outweigh the factors in favour of disclosure. In respect of section 27(1)(a), the effective conduct of international relations depends upon maintaining trust and confidence between Governments. If the United Kingdom does not maintain this trust and confidence, its ability to protect and promote UK interests through international relations will be hampered. In respect of section 27(2), the information requested is confidential information obtained from a State other than the United Kingdom or from an international organisation or international court.

Only the 10 elected Security Council members received the redacted version of the CAFCD. We can confirm that the redacted version is also held within UNMOVIC archives and has been declared as confidential. We are therefore satisfied that the redacted version contains confidential information provided by other States which would have been given to the 10 elected Security Council members in confidence.

The UN Security Council's view is that information provided in confidence by UN member States, should be kept under strict control. Access to confidential information held within the UNMOVIC archives is restricted for an initial period of 30 years. For reference please see the following links below:

Link to S/2007/680: http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/Iraq%20S2007%20680.pdf

Link to SG's final report: http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/UNMOVIC%20S%202008%20372.pdf

In view of this, the confidential information contained in the redacted CAFCD should not be disseminated more widely. This was upheld in UN resolution 1762 dated 29 June 2007, to which the UK has agreed.

The effective conduct of international relations depends upon the UK maintaining the trust and confidence of other States, which allows for the free and frank exchange of information on the understanding that it will be treated in confidence. If the contents of the redacted CAFCD were to be released now, the other Permanent Members and 10 elected members of the UN Security Council may be more reluctant to share sensitive information with the UK in future. Furthermore, they may also be less likely to respect the confidentiality of information supplied by the UK to them, to the detriment of UK interests. This in turn would be likely to harm our relations with those Members, hampering our ability to protect and promote UK interests through international relations. For these reasons, we consider that the public interest in maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the contents of the redacted version CAFCD.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me. Please quote the reference number above in any future communication.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request an internal review of our decision you should write to me at xx-xxxx.xxxxxxx@fco.gov.uk, or at the address above.

If you are not content with the outcome of that internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally the Information Commissioner's Office cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaint procedure provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Yours sincerely,

Counter Proliferation Department