- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 5, 2002

Iraq has stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in violation of U.N. resolutions and could deploy a nuclear bomb by the end of this decade, the CIA said in a report made public yesterday.
"If left unchecked, [Iraq] probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade," the report said.
After U.N. weapons inspections ended in 1998, Iraq restarted its nuclear arms program, "maintained its chemical weapons effort, energized its missile program and invested more heavily in biological weapons," said the 25-page report titled "Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs."
The CIA report was released yesterday as Congress debates a resolution to authorize President Bush to use force against Iraq and as the United Nations develops a new resolution that could lead to military action against Iraq.
Regarding missile developments, the report said Baghdad has violated the 93-mile range limit on missiles that was imposed by the United Nations. Iraq also is building unmanned aerial vehicles that will "allow for a more lethal means to deliver biological and, less likely, chemical warfare agents," the report said.
The report contains a photo of a Czech training jet that was converted into a pilotless drone. The drones could be outfitted to deliver chemical or biological weapons that "could threaten Iraq's neighbors, U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf, and the United States if brought close to, or into, the U.S. homeland," the report said.
Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke yesterday said Iraq has an active program of "denial and deception" aimed at hiding its weapons of mass destruction programs.
The report also revealed for the first time that Iraq is building specialized facilities that are part of a medium-range ballistic missile program.
It has deployed new al-Samoud and Ababil-100 short-range missiles that have ranges beyond the 93-mile limit imposed by the United Nations after the Gulf war.
The report said Saddam Hussein lacks the material to make nuclear weapons and probably does not have any nuclear arms but that "he remains intent on acquiring them."
If Baghdad succeeds in acquiring nuclear material that could be used as fuel for a weapon, "it could make a nuclear weapon within a year," the report said.
Iraq recently tried to buy special, high-strength metal tubes that are used to make fuel for nuclear weapons, the report said.
"All intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons and that these tubes could be used in a centrifuge enrichment program," the report said.
Iraq has begun making chemical warfare agents again and probably has the blistering agent mustard gas and nerve agents sarin, cyclosarin and VX, the report said.
In addition to aerial bombs, artillery rockets and projectiles, the Iraqi military also has a limited number of chemical warheads for short-range missiles, including some extended-range Scud missiles, the report said.
As for biological arms, the report said Iraq has some lethal and incapacitating biological-weapons agents and could produce a variety of germ weapons, including anthrax, that could be dropped by bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers and covert operatives.
"All key aspects R&D;, production, and weaponization of Iraq's offensive biological weapons program are active and most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf war," the report said.
Iraq also has a large hidden biological-agent-production capability in mobile facilities that can "evade detection, are highly survivable, and can exceed the production rates Iraq had prior to the Gulf war," the report said.
The report said Baghdad has refused to permit U.N. weapons inspections since 1998 and that electronic monitoring of suspected weapons sites is no longer operating.
Baghdad also has banned U.N. Security Council-mandated overflights by surveillance aircraft and limited inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, it said.
The report said the Iraqi government has diverted goods that were purchased legally under the U.N. oil-for-food program for military purposes. Some of the goods probably are being used for banned weapons programs, it said.
The report listed Iraq's use of chemical weapons against Iranians and Kurds in 1983 through 1987, causing thousands of casualties. The weapons included the blistering agent mustard gas and the nerve agent tabun.
Expanded chemical-weapons facilities include the Fallujah II facility that produces chlorine and phenol. The plants can be used for both water treatment and for making weapons, the report said.
The report also listed several "open-air" testing of biological weapons agents in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991. The agents tested included Bacillus subtilis, botulinum toxin and aflatoxin.
Iraq also has rebuilt and expanded a rocket-motor production and test facility.

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