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Iraq

Iraq WMD Stats

Definitions

  • Biological: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of biological weapons of mass destruction
  • Chemical: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of chemical weapons of mass destruction
  • Missile: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of missile weapons of mass destruction
  • Nuclear: A description of the nation's situation with regards to the possession and manufacture of nuclear weapons
STAT AMOUNT DATE RANK
Biological Iraq began an offensive biological weapon (BW) program in 1985. By 1990, this program had produced 25 missile warheads and 166 400-pound aerial bombs that were filled with anthrax, botulinum toxin, or aflatoxin. Further, Iraq acknowledged production of approximately 20,000 liters of botulinum toxin solution, 8,425 liters of anthrax solution, and 2,200 liters of aflatoxin. Baghdad also admitted to having researched the weapons potential of the camelpox virus, human rotavirus, enterovirus 17, and the toxin ricin. Since December 1998, when UN inspectors left the country, there has been no verifiable information about the status of Iraq's BW program. In May 2000, the United Kingdom estimated that Iraq could rebuild its BW program within months. As a condition of the 1991 Gulf War cease-fire agreement, Iraq ratified the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC). In March 2003, the United States invaded Iraq in part due to intelligence suspicions that Iraq had a clandestine biological weapons program among other WMD development programs. Investigations following the invasion, however, have yet to uncover evidence of biological weapons production in Iraq. 2003
Chemical Iraq made extensive use of chemical weapons (CW) during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980 to 1988. In 1988, Iraq mounted a massive chemical attack against the Kurdish town of Halabja, killing approximately 5,000 civilians. Before Desert Storm, Iraq succeeded in producing the blister agent mustard, as well as the nerve agents tabun, sarin, cyclosarin and VX. After its 1991 defeat Iraq declared to UN inspectors that between 1982 and 1990 it produced 3,859 tons of CW agents and more than 125,000 filled and unfilled "special munitions." These munitions were mostly stored at the Muthana State Establishment, Iraq's major CW production, filling, and testing facility. Iraq's CW infrastructure suffered extensive damage during the 1991 Gulf War. After the war the United Nations was authorized to verify the destruction of all of Iraq's WMD and long-range delivery systems. By mid-1995, inspectors had largely completed verification and destruction of Baghdad's chemical stocks, munitions, and relevant production facilities and equipment. Following the suspension of UNSCOM inspections in 1998, the United States continued to believe that Iraq was secretly storing a significant quantity of chemical weapons, particularly nerve agent, and that Iraq had rebuilt much of its CW production infrastructure. According to the US State Department, Iraq had failed to account for 1.5 tons of VX, 1,000 tons of mustard gas, and 550 munitions containing mustard gas during the UNMOVIC inspections, violating UNSCR 1441. In November 2002, following a period of escalating pressure on Iraq, UNMOVIC inspection teams were allowed access to Iraq. Inspections continued until 18 March 2003 at which point all United Nations staff were withdrawn after the United States issued an ultimatum to Iraq. The UNMOVIC teams did not find any evidence that Iraq had resumed its WMD programs. On 19 March 2003 the United States invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein's regime. One of the justifications for this invasion was a belief that Iraq had clandestinely amassed large stockpiles of chemical weapons including VX, sarin and mustard gas, among other WMD that it had successfully concealed from the United Nations. Following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in April 2003 the United States established the Iraq Survey Group (ISG). This group was tasked with locating the chemical weapons and other WMD reportedly hidden in Iraq. The United States at no point allowed UNMOVIC officials or inspectors to reenter Iraq to resume their duties and has not cooperated with UNMOVICS efforts to monitor Iraqi sites placed under UNMOVIC seal. On 30 September 2004 the ISG released its final report on Iraq's WMD programs. The ISG revealed that despite spending over one billion dollars it had not been able to find any WMD stockpiles or evidence that Iraq had restarted its CW program at any point subsequent to 1991. The ISG did find indications that Saddam intended to resume his WMD activities once UN sanctions were lifted but also noted that many Iraqi scientists and technicians were engaged in active deception of the Iraqi leadership regarding their ability to restart WMD programs. Iraq has not yet acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It is anticipated that once Iraq regains full control over its domestic and foreign affairs it will acede to the CWC. 2004
Missile Iraq purchased considerable numbers of short-range Scud missiles and launchers from the Soviet Union beginning in the early 1970s. Towards the end of the Iran-Iraq War, Baghdad extended the range of the Scud to 650km; many of these modified missiles (known as the al-Husayn) were used during that war and, later, in Desert Storm. With extensive assistance from foreign companies, Iraq pursued a variety of other missile projects; these efforts were largely halted by UN weapon inspections that began in 1991. From 1991 to 1998, working under the proscriptions contained in the UN ceasefire resolution, Iraq developed various types of ballistic missiles with ranges of less than 150km, including the al-Ababil and the al-Samoud. During their time in Iraq, UNMOVIC inspectors destroyed 72 al-Samoud-2 missiles that violated the 150km-range limit, as well as certain equipment for the production of solid rocket motors. Following the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003, David Kay’s Iraqi Survey Group (ISG) learned that a version of the al-Ababil exceeding the permitted range had been in the midst of development. In addition, the ISG ascertained the existence of two cruise missile programs to convert the HY-2 Seersucker into a land-attack system. The first program extended the range from 100km to 150-180km; two of 10 of these completed prototypes were delivered to the Iraqi military just before the invasion and are known to have been fired against coalition targets. The second program, designed to increase the range to 1000km over land, began in late November 2001 but was halted approximately one year later, just prior to the arrival of UNMOVIC inspectors. Under the subsequent leadership of Mr. Charles Duelfer, the ISG released its three-volume Comprehensive Report on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction on 30 September 2004.[1] According to the report, between 1997 and 2003, Iraq maintained undeclared programs to convert SA-2 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) to surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs) with proscribed range capabilities. By 2000 or 2001, Iraq also began to focus its efforts on developing a long-range, solid-propellant ballistic missile that would have exceeded the 150km range limit imposed by the UN Security Council. In addition, the report confirms prewar intelligence that Iraq had engaged in secret negotiations with North Korea to acquire dangerous missile technology. A number of other governments, sub-state entities, and individuals also provided Iraq assistance in its secret efforts to develop illicit missile systems since 1997. Moreover, inspectors discovered that the UN-run Oil-for-Food program was rife with corruption and holes through which Saddam's regime could gain the financial and logistical means to continue these secretive efforts in past years. Overall, the report concludes that prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq's efforts relating to illicit missile programs remained at a developmental, not production, stage. The inspectors argue, however, that Iraq fully intended to restart its missile program pursuits once international sanctions were lifted and inspections terminated. 2004
Nuclear Iraq began limited efforts in the civilian nuclear field in the late 1960s. By the early 1970s, then Vice-President Saddam Hussein issued direct orders for the creation of a nuclear weapons program. The Iraqi plans called for the initial development of a civilian fuel cycle and related expertise. A parallel weapons program was then to be built off the civilian efforts. Accordingly, Iraq acquired a French nuclear reactor in 1975. Israel later destroyed the reactor in a June 1981 air strike, leading Iraq to explore a number of clandestine uranium enrichment methods. By the start of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Iraq had created a robust, covert nuclear weapons program that included a complete, although untested, nuclear weapon design. Subsequent estimates suggest that Iraq was perhaps only one to three years away from building a nuclear weapon at that time. Following Iraq’s defeat in the first Operation Desert Storm, inspectors from the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) worked to uncover the full extent of Iraq’s nuclear weapons program. They destroyed facilities and relevant equipment in the process, with this work continuing until inspectors left Iraq in 1998. IAEA inspectors returned to Iraq in November 2002 after a four-year lapse. They stayed until their March 2003 evacuation, which preceded the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The subsequent invasion by US-led coalition forces was rooted in the belief that Saddam Hussein’s regime had been deceiving the IAEA and hiding its WMD arsenals and capabilities. Soon after the start of the war, former UN inspector David Kay was named head of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), which was tasked with searching Iraq for WMD and related programs. The ISG did not find evidence of a reconstituted nuclear program or stockpiles of WMD. Instead, in its comprehensive report released on 30 September 2004, the ISG confirmed that Saddam Hussein effectively ended Iraq’s nuclear program following the first Gulf War in 1991 and did not direct a coordinated effort to restart the program thereafter. The ISG report does describe Saddam Hussein’s intention to rebuild his WMD capabilities after international sanctions were removed, however. To that end, the ISG uncovered evidence that the regime sought to conceal documents from its nuclear program following the 1991 war as well as maintain an intellectual capacity among scientists who might be involved in future activities aimed at restarting a nuclear weapons program. In addition, the report concludes that Saddam Hussein purposefully sought to spread ambiguity about his WMD capabilities in order to avoid appearing weak and to deter aggression. Meanwhile, shortly after the ISG’s findings were published, troubling new reports emerged about missing nuclear-related equipment and materials in Iraq which, according to the IAEA, has been disappearing from previously monitored sites since the start of the war in 2003. 2004

Citation

"Iraq WMD Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Iraq/Military/WMD