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
The Rt Hon Tony Blair
From the text of Prime Minister Blair's statement to Parliament on the subject of Iraq, given on the day of the publication of the September Iraq WMD Dossier:
Tuesday September 24, 2002
"It is clear both that a significant number of longer-range missiles were effectively concealed from the previous inspectors and remain, including up to 20 extended range Scud missiles; that in mid 2001, there was a step change in the programme and by this year, Iraq's development of weapons with a range over 1,000km was well underway; that hundreds of key people are employed on this programme; facilities are being built; and equipment procured, usually clandestinely. Sanctions and import controls have hindered this programme but only slowed its progress. The capability being developed is for multi-purpose use, including with WMD warheads."
From the text of a speech by Prime Minister Blair opening a debate on the Iraq crisis in the House of Commons, as released by 10 Downing Street:
Wednesday March 18, 2003
"When the inspectors left in 1998, they left unaccounted for: 10,000 litres of anthrax; a far reaching VX nerve agent programme; up to 6,500 chemical munitions; at least 80 tonnes of mustard gas, possibly more than ten times that amount; unquantifiable amounts of sarin, botulinum toxin and a host of other biological poisons; an entire Scud missile programme."
"We are now seriously asked to accept that in the last few years, contrary to all history, contrary to all intelligence, he decided unilaterally to destroy the weapons. Such a claim is palpably absurd."
Prime Minister Blair discussing the Butler Intelligence Review - July 6, 2004:
"We do not know what has happened to them. They could have been removed, they could have been hidden, they could have been destroyed."
President George W. Bush
President's Remarks at the United Nations General Assembly Remarks by the President in Address to the United Nations General Assembly New York, New York:
September 12, 2002
"Iraq also possesses a force of Scud-type missiles with ranges beyond the 150 kilometers permitted by the U.N. Work at testing and production facilities shows that Iraq is building more long-range missiles that it can inflict mass death throughout the region."
President Bush discussing the Senate Intelligence Committee Report - July 9, 2004:
"We need to know. I want to know."
"I want to know the truth. I want to know the facts."
President Bush's then National Security Adviser
September 8, 2002
"We know that there are unaccounted-for Scud and other ballistic missiles in Iraq."
Former US Secretary of Defense
April 13, 2003
"We're not going to find anything until we find people who tell us where the things are. And we have that very high on our priority list, to find the people who know. And when we do, then well learn precisely where things were and what was done."
Former White House Press Secretary
December 2, 2002
"If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world."
January 9, 2003
"We know for a fact that there are weapons there."
September 7, 2003
"I think the burden is on those people who think he didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are."
Former US Secretary of State
(From Bob Woodward's book Plan of Attack P309.)
It had been four very, very difficult days for Powell as he sorted through the intelligence reports. So much was inferential, he thought. The intelligence people kept repeating that Saddam had a few dozen Scud missiles. "The Scuds are not anything anyone has seen," he said. As he read, he saw that previous U.N. inspectors had accounted for something like 817 of the 819 Scuds. But there was other information suggesting that some still remained, so he agreed to refer vaguely to "up to a few dozen Scud-variant" missiles.
Former (British) UNSCOM weapons inspector
From the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) CBW Yearbook Chapters - Sipri Yearbook 1994 - Chapter 19: UNSCOM: activities in 1993
III. Political developments in 1993
Attempts in the first half of 1993 to elicit fuller information on chemical weapon (CW) and biological weapon (BW) issues met with unco-operative responses. Iraq denied ever using CW. It refused to turn over the missile-firing records that were essential if UNSCOM were to verify Iraqi claims to have accounted for all the Soviet-supplied Scud missiles.
Former (American) UNSCOM weapons inspector
January 29, 2003
"Two were unaccounted for (after the Gulf war) and there was concern there might be seven or eight indigenous ones that we could not account for but were never sure these were operational."
November 29, 2005
"This is why when I briefed the director of the CIA in November 1993 about how we had accounted for the totality of Iraq's ballistic missile capabilities we were told by the CIA at that time that they rejected our analysis, that the number of missiles in play was assessed to be 12 to 20 and that number would never change, regardless of what we did."
Former (Australian) UNSCOM/UNMOVIC/ISG weapons inspector and advisor to David Kay
(From an interview with Luke Ryland of Wotisitgood4 conducted on September 25, 2006.)
LR: and chemical scuds, they weren't used in 1991?
RB: no - in 91, they had 50 chemical warheads - 50 scuds with chemicals, and 25 scuds with biological warheads - and we're fairly sure of those numbers now. UNSCOM always argued that there could be more, or maybe not - I can tell you that we are close to being 100% sure as you can be on this sort of thing. None of them were ever fired, and I think we can account for all of them.
Former First Secretary at the UK mission to the United Nations, responsible for Iraq policy.
(Testimony given to Lord Butler's inquiry, withheld until published by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee on December 15, 2006.)
"With the exception of some unaccounted-for Scud missiles, there was no intelligence evidence of significant holdings of CW, BW or nuclear material."
"Iraq's ability to launch a WMD or any form of attack was very limited. There were approx 12 or so unaccounted-for Scud missiles; ..."
Charles A. Duelfer
Former Deputy Chairman of UNSCOM and Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence
(Testimony before the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities Armed Services Committee of the United States Senate, February 27, 2002.)
Long Range Ballistic Missile Status. The bulk of Iraq's long range surface to surface missiles derived from imported SCUDs from the former Soviet Union. They imported 819 missiles and eleven mobile launchers. Many were expended: against Iran, for testing, and in the 1991 war. Iraq unilaterally destroyed others in an elaborate ruse to preserve a limited force in 1991. UNSCOM pursued a long and tortuous process to account for these missiles, which was made more difficult by the discovery in 1995 that Iraq had a program to produce such missiles indigenously. This program was at least somewhat successful. At the end or our work in Iraq there remained uncertainty over the disposition of a relatively small number of SCUD missiles. In my view it is likely Iraq retains a small long range missile force (perhaps 12-14 missiles) that would serve the purpose of a strategic reserve.
Former Executive Chairman of UNSCOM
(Statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Washington, D.C. July 31, 2002.)
"Unscom's accounting of Iraq's SCUDs was reasonably complete: a good portion of them had been fired or destroyed during the Gulf War. But the disposition of a number of them, possibly as many as 20, was never unambiguously established."
Former IAEA chief weapons inspector and first leader of the Iraq Survey Group
(Statement on the Interim Progress Report on the activities of the Iraq Survey Group before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense, and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, October 2, 2003.)
"While I have spoken so far of planned missile systems, one high-level detainee has recently claimed that Iraq retained a small quantity of Scud-variant missiles until at least 2001, although he subsequently recanted these claims, work continues to determine the truth."
Dr. Hans Blix
Former Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC
THE SECURITY COUNCIL - JANUARY 27, 2003: AN UPDATE ON INSPECTION
"There remain significant questions as to whether Iraq retained SCUD-type missiles after the Gulf War. Iraq declared the consumption of a number of SCUD missiles as targets in the development of an anti-ballistic missile defence system during the 1980s. Yet no technical information has been produced about that programme or data on the consumption of the missiles."