- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Washington, Nov. 9, 1998 (AP)— Iraq could rebuild its chemical and biological arsenals if international arms inspections ceased, the CIA said Monday as the Clinton administration prepared options on the latest standoff.

Iraq has “the capability to quickly resurrect weapons of mass destruction production absent U.N. sanctions,” the CIA reported to lawmakers. Although the report predates the latest flurry of activity involving Iraq, a U.S. intelligence official said Monday that the assessment reflects the agency’s current thinking.

The CIA concluded that despite years of U.N. inspections and the destruction wrought by the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Iraq retains the key equipment and technology needed to make chemical and biological weapons and mount them on missiles.

“Iraq could retain a small force of Scud-type missiles, a small stockpile of chemical and biological munitions, and the capability to quickly resurrect weapons of mass destruction production absent U.N. sanctions” and international inspections, the CIA wrote. It also said Baghdad “continues to withhold information about (nuclear) enrichment techniques, testing data, foreign procurement, and weapons design… Iraq could be conducting covert nuclear research and development that would be difficult to detect.”

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