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Hussein's Aims, Capabilities Often Differed

In interviews, Hussein "made clear his view that nuclear weapons were the right of any country that could build them," the report noted. "He was very attentive to the growing Iranian threat, especially its potential nuclear component, and he stated that he would do whatever it took to offset the Iranian threat, clearly implying matching Tehran's nuclear capabilities.

"Saddam observed that India and Pakistan had slipped across the nuclear weapons boundary quite successfully," it added.

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But Huwaysh also quoted Hussein as saying: "We do not intend or aspire to return to our previous programs to produce WMD, if the Security Council abides by its obligations. . . ." Huwaysh did not specify whether that meant the lifting of U.N. sanctions.

At the time of the U.S.-led invasion, Duelfer said, Iraq had no active programs for chemical or biological weapons, but had industrial equipment that could have been used to help restart the efforts.

On chemical weapons, Duelfer said, "Iraq would have been able to produce mustard agents in the period of months, and nerve agent in less than a year or two" using the existing chemical infrastructure. The report, however, found "no explicit guidance from Saddam on this point" and no other plans to do that.

On biological weapons, Hussein abandoned his program in 1995 but retained the scientists and other technicians "needed to restart a potential biological weapons program," the report noted. Although there was no proof of efforts to rebuild his anthrax programs, "given the developing infrastructure in Iraq in the late 1990s and early 2000, such a reconstitution could be accomplished quite quickly."

On missiles, "Iraq's investments in technology and infrastructure improvements, an effective procurement network, skilled scientists, and designs already on the books for longer range missiles" clearly indicated that Hussein "intended to reconstitute long-range delivery systems and that the systems potentially were for WMD."

Staff researcher Robert Thomason contributed to this report.

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