Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th February 1992.

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Photo of Douglas Hogg Douglas Hogg Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 12:00 am, 5th February 1992

There are perhaps two important questions wrapped up in my hon. Friend's remarks. I think that the intrusive system of inspection that we have introduced through recent Security Council resolutions is probably adequate, provided that it is vigorously enforced, to prevent the Iraqis from developing a weapon. One cannot be certain about that; one can only express an opinion as to the probability.

A different point—again a very important one—relates to the general powers of the IAEA and to its ability to monitor civil programmes to prevent covert programmes. There we are working hard to boost the inspection powers of the IAEA to try to address problems of the kind that were thrown up in Iraq.