Guess what, folks?
Former UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix believed the Government’s controversial Iraq weapons dossier actually understated the case against Saddam Hussein, according to documents released today by the Foreign Office.
The papers released by the FO show that British officials at the United Nations in New York showed a draft of the dossier to Dr Blix in September 2002, two weeks before the final version was published.
A note from one official, Adam Bye, said that Dr Blix had liked the section on chemical, biological and nuclear weapons as he believed that it did not exaggerate the facts.
According to the note, Dr Blix said that the dossier even risked understating Iraq’s ability to produce weapons of mass destruction – particularly the lethal anthrax virus.
He also described the claim that even if Iraq was able to acquire fissile material from abroad, it would still take at least two years to build a working nuclear bomb as “modest”.
Since war, Dr Blix has strongly criticised the case made for war by Britain and the United States, based on Saddam Hussein’s supposed possession of illegal WMD.
However, in a Commons statement, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that at the time the dossier was published, the assumption that Iraq did indeed have WMD was shared across the international community.
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