Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Mr Llew Smith (Blaenau Gwent, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the areas where the Government has identified an inaccurate or false declaration by the former Iraqi Government in the declaration on its proscribed weapons of mass destruction programmes submitted to the United Nations Security Council on 7 December 2002, specifying the page number in each case.
Mr Denis MacShane (Minister of State (Europe), Foreign & Commonwealth Office; Rotherham, Labour)
A careful examination of Iraq's declaration was undertaken in December 2002 and January 2003 and its contents were compared with the outstanding disarmament issues reported by UNSCOM upon their withdrawal from Iraq and against intelligence assessments available at the time. The results of this examination showed that there was no new information contained in the declaration, and that it therefore failed to address any of the outstanding issues. This failure was borne out by subsequent discoveries by UNMOVIC inspection teams in early 2003, and later by the Iraq Survey Group.
The Iraqi Declaration itself remains a document confidential to the United Nations Security Council. It would not, therefore, be appropriate to go into the detail of the specific contents of any part of the declaration. Huge quantities of documents remain to be translated.