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Iraq

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:42 pm on 26th February 2003.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw Foreign Secretary 12:42 pm, 26th February 2003

No. I am so sorry, but as my hon. Friend knows, there is great time pressure.

The next question is why do we need a second resolution now? Resolution 1441 required Iraq's full, active and immediate compliance, as indeed did resolution 687, which was passed 12 years ago. Fifteen weeks after 1441, Saddam's response has been neither full, nor active, nor immediate. He has not complied, and not a single member of the Security Council says otherwise. In place of active voluntary co-operation, we have had a string of cynically timed concessions that are calculated to divide and to delay.

We saw more token concessions last night. According to the newspapers, Iraq has now told Dr. Blix that it has—and I quote—"found" a bomb. Iraq has found a bomb containing biological agents—it simply popped up from some gooseberry bush. Some will be tempted to regard this as evidence that Saddam is being successfully contained, and that the inspectors should be given endless time. However, this latest "find" is the same old game of dribbling out small concessions at the last minute.