U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Addresses the U.N. Security Council
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POWELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, distinguished colleagues, I
would like to begin by expressing my thanks for the special effort that
each of you made to be here today.
This is important day for us all as we review the situation with
respect to Iraq and its disarmament obligations under U.N. Security
Council Resolution 1441.
Last November 8, this council passed Resolution 1441 by a unanimous
vote. The purpose of that resolution was to disarm Iraq of its weapons
of mass destruction. Iraq had already been found guilty of material
breach of its obligations, stretching back over 16 previous resolutions
and 12 years.
POWELL: Resolution 1441 was not dealing with an innocent party, but
a regime this council has repeatedly convicted over the years.
Resolution 1441 gave Iraq one last chance, one last chance to come into
compliance or to face serious consequences. No council member present
in voting on that day had any allusions about the nature and intent of
the resolution or what serious consequences meant if Iraq did not
And to assist in its disarmament, we called on Iraq to cooperate
with returning inspectors from UNMOVIC and IAEA.
We laid down tough standards for Iraq to meet to allow the
inspectors to do their job.
POWELL: This council placed the burden on Iraq to comply and disarm
and not on the inspectors to find that which Iraq has gone out of its
way to conceal for so long. Inspectors are inspectors; they are not
I asked for this session today for two purposes: First, to support
the core assessments made by Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei. As Dr. Blix
reported to this council on January 27th, quote, ``Iraq appears not to
have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament
which was demanded of it,'' unquote.
And as Dr. ElBaradei reported, Iraq's declaration of December 7,
quote, ``did not provide any new information relevant to certain
questions that have been outstanding since 1998.''
POWELL: My second purpose today is to provide you with additional
information, to share with you what the United States knows about
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction as well as Iraq's involvement in
terrorism, which is also the subject of Resolution 1441 and other
I might add at this point that we are providing all relevant
information we can to the inspection teams for them to do their work.
The material I will present to you comes from a variety of sources.
Some are U.S. sources. And some are those of other countries. Some of
the sources are technical, such as intercepted telephone conversations
and photos taken by satellites. Other sources are people who have
risked their lives to let the world know what Saddam Hussein is really
I cannot tell you everything that we know. But what I can share
with you, when combined with what all of us have learned over the
years, is deeply troubling.
POWELL: What you will see is an accumulation of facts and
disturbing patterns of behavior. The facts on Iraqis' behavior--Iraq's
behavior demonstrate that Saddam Hussein and his regime have made no
effort--no effort--to disarm as required by the international
community. Indeed, the facts and Iraq's behavior show that Saddam
Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more
weapons of mass destruction.
Let me begin by playing a tape for you. What you're about to hear
is a conversation that my government monitored. It takes place on
November 26 of last year, on the day before United Nations teams
resumed inspections in Iraq.
The conversation involves two senior officers, a colonel and a
brigadier general, from Iraq's elite military unit, the Republican
(BEGIN AUDIO TAPE)
1/8Speaking in Arabic. 3/8
(END AUDIO TAPE)
POWELL: Let me pause and review some of the key elements of this
conversation that you just heard between these two officers.
First, they acknowledge that our colleague, Mohamed ElBaradei, is
coming, and they know what he's coming for, and they know he's coming
the next day. He's coming to look for things that are prohibited. He is
expecting these gentlemen to cooperate with him and not hide things.
But they're worried. ``We have this modified vehicle. What do we
say if one of them sees it?''
What is their concern? Their concern is that it's something they
should not have, something that should not be seen.
The general is incredulous: ``You didn't get a modified. You don't
have one of those, do you?''
``I have one.''
``Which, from where?''
``From the workshop, from the Al Kendi (ph) Company?''
``From Al Kendi (ph).''
``I'll come to see you in the morning. I'm worried. You all have
``We evacuated everything. We don't have anything left.''
Note what he says: ``We evacuated everything.''
We didn't destroy it. We didn't line it up for inspection. We
didn't turn it into the inspectors. We evacuated it to make sure it was
not around when the inspectors showed up.
``I will come to you tomorrow.''
The Al Kendi (ph) Company: This is a company that is well known to
have been involved in prohibited weapons systems activity.
POWELL: Let me play another tape for you. As you will recall, the
inspectors found 12 empty chemical warheads on January 16. On January
20, four days later, Iraq promised the inspectors it would search for
more. You will now hear an officer from Republican Guard headquarters
issuing an instruction to an officer in the field. Their conversation
took place just last week on January 30.
(BEGIN AUDIO TAPE)
1/8Speaking in Arabic. 3/8
(END AUDIO TAPE)
POWELL: Let me pause again and review the elements of this
``They're inspecting the ammunition you have, yes.''
``For the possibility there are forbidden ammo.''
``For the possibility there is by chance forbidden ammo?''
``And we sent you a message yesterday to clean out all of the
areas, the scrap areas, the abandoned areas. Make sure there is nothing
POWELL: Remember the first message, evacuated.
This is all part of a system of hiding things and moving things out
of the way and making sure they have left nothing behind.
If you go a little further into this message, and you see the
specific instructions from headquarters: ``After you have carried out
what is contained in this message, destroy the message because I don't
want anyone to see this message.''
This message would have verified to the inspectors that they have
been trying to turn over things. They were looking for things. But they
don't want that message seen, because they were trying to clean up the
area to leave no evidence behind of the presence of weapons of mass
destruction. And they can claim that nothing was there. And the
inspectors can look all they want, and they will find nothing.
This effort to hide things from the inspectors is not one or two
isolated events, quite the contrary. This is part and parcel of a
policy of evasion and deception that goes back 12 years, a policy set
at the highest levels of the Iraqi regime.
We know that Saddam Hussein has what is called quote, ``a higher
committee for monitoring the inspections teams,'' unquote. Think about
that. Iraq has a high-level committee to monitor the inspectors who
were sent in to monitor Iraq's disarmament.
POWELL: Not to cooperate with them, not to assist them, but to spy
on them and keep them from doing their jobs.
The committee reports directly to Saddam Hussein. It is headed by
Iraq's vice president, Taha Yassin Ramadan. Its members include Saddam
Hussein's son Qusay.
This committee also includes Lieutenant General Amir al-Saadi, an
adviser to Saddam. In case that name isn't immediately familiar to you,
General Saadi has been the Iraqi regime's primary point of contact for
Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei. It was General Saadi who last fall publicly
pledged that Iraq was prepared to cooperate unconditionally with
inspectors. Quite the contrary, Saadi's job is not to cooperate, it is
to deceive; not to disarm, but to undermine the inspectors; not to
support them, but to frustrate them and to make sure they learn
We have learned a lot about the work of this special committee. We
learned that just prior to the return of inspectors last November the
regime had decided to resume what we heard called, quote, ``the old
game of cat and mouse,'' unquote.
For example, let me focus on the now famous declaration that Iraq
submitted to this council on December 7. Iraq never had any intention
of complying with this council's mandate.
POWELL: Instead, Iraq planned to use the declaration, overwhelm us
and to overwhelm the inspectors with useless information about Iraq's
permitted weapons so that we would not have time to pursue Iraq's
prohibited weapons. Iraq's goal was to give us, in this room, to give
those us on this council the false impression that the inspection
process was working.
You saw the result. Dr. Blix pronounced the 12,200-page
declaration, rich in volume, but poor in information and practically
devoid of new evidence.
Could any member of this council honestly rise in defense of this
Everything we have seen and heard indicates that, instead of
cooperating actively with the inspectors to ensure the success of their
mission, Saddam Hussein and his regime are busy doing all they possibly
can to ensure that inspectors succeed in finding absolutely nothing.
My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by
sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we're giving you
are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some
examples, and these are from human sources.
Orders were issued to Iraq's security organizations, as well as to
Saddam Hussein's own office, to hide all correspondence with the
Organization of Military Industrialization.
POWELL: This is the organization that oversees Iraq's weapons of
mass destruction activities. Make sure there are no documents left
which could connect you to the OMI.
We know that Saddam's son, Qusay, ordered the removal of all
prohibited weapons from Saddam's numerous palace complexes. We know
that Iraqi government officials, members of the ruling Baath Party and
scientists have hidden prohibited items in their homes. Other key files
from military and scientific establishments have been placed in cars
that are being driven around the countryside by Iraqi intelligence
agents to avoid detection.
Thanks to intelligence they were provided, the inspectors recently
found dramatic confirmation of these reports. When they searched the
home of an Iraqi nuclear scientist, they uncovered roughly 2,000 pages
of documents. You see them here being brought out of the home and
placed in U.N. hands. Some of the material is classified and related to
Iraq's nuclear program.
Tell me, answer me, are the inspectors to search the house of every
government official, every Baath Party member and every scientist in
the country to find the truth, to get the information they need, to
satisfy the demands of our council?
Our sources tell us that, in some cases, the hard drives of
computers at Iraqi weapons facilities were replaced. Who took the hard
drives. Where did they go? What's being hidden? Why? There's only one
answer to the why: to deceive, to hide, to keep from the inspectors.
Numerous human sources tell us that the Iraqis are moving, not just
documents and hard drives, but weapons of mass destruction to keep them
from being found by inspectors.
POWELL: While we were here in this council chamber debating
Resolution 1441 last fall, we know, we know from sources that a missile
brigade outside Baghdad was disbursing rocket launchers and warheads
containing biological warfare agents to various locations, distributing
them to various locations in western Iraq. Most of the launchers and
warheads have been hidden in large groves of palm trees and were to be
moved every one to four weeks to escape detection.
We also have satellite photos that indicate that banned materials
have recently been moved from a number of Iraqi weapons of mass
Let me say a word about satellite images before I show a couple.
The photos that I am about to show you are sometimes hard for the
average person to interpret, hard for me. The painstaking work of photo
analysis takes experts with years and years of experience, pouring for
hours and hours over light tables. But as I show you these images, I
will try to capture and explain what they mean, what they indicate to
our imagery specialists.
Let's look at one. This one is about a weapons munition facility, a
facility that holds ammunition at a place called Taji (ph). This is one
of about 65 such facilities in Iraq. We know that this one has housed
chemical munitions. In fact, this is where the Iraqis recently came up
with the additional four chemical weapon shells.
Here, you see 15 munitions bunkers in yellow and red outlines. The
four that are in red squares represent active chemical munitions
How do I know that? How can I say that? Let me give you a closer
look. Look at the image on the left. On the left is a close-up of one
of the four chemical bunkers. The two arrows indicate the presence of
sure signs that the bunkers are storing chemical munitions. The arrow
at the top that says security points to a facility that is the
signature item for this kind of bunker. Inside that facility are
special guards and special equipment to monitor any leakage that might
come out of the bunker.
POWELL: The truck you also see is a signature item. It's a
decontamination vehicle in case something goes wrong.
This is characteristic of those four bunkers. The special security
facility and the decontamination vehicle will be in the area, if not at
any one of them or one of the other, it is moving around those four,
and it moves as it needed to move, as people are working in the
Now look at the picture on the right. You are now looking at two of
those sanitized bunkers. The signature vehicles are gone, the tents are
gone, it's been cleaned up, and it was done on the 22nd of December, as
the U.N. inspection team is arriving, and you can see the inspection
vehicles arriving in the lower portion of the picture on the right.
The bunkers are clean when the inspectors get there. They found
This sequence of events raises the worrisome suspicion that Iraq
had been tipped off to the forthcoming inspections at Taji (ph). As it
did throughout the 1990s, we know that Iraq today is actively using its
considerable intelligence capabilities to hide its illicit activities.
From our sources, we know that inspectors are under constant
surveillance by an army of Iraqi intelligence operatives. Iraq is
relentlessly attempting to tap all of their communications, both voice
POWELL: I would call my colleagues attention to the fine paper that
United Kingdom distributed yesterday, which describes in exquisite
detail Iraqi deception activities.
In this next example, you will see the type of concealment activity
Iraq has undertaken in response to the resumption of inspections.
Indeed, in November 2002, just when the inspections were about to
resume this type of activity spiked. Here are three examples.
At this ballistic missile site, on November 10, we saw a cargo
truck preparing to move ballistic missile components. At this
biological weapons related facility, on November 25, just two days
before inspections resumed, this truck caravan appeared, something we
almost never see at this facility, and we monitor it carefully and
At this ballistic missile facility, again, two days before
inspections began, five large cargo trucks appeared along with the
truck-mounted crane to move missiles. We saw this kind of house
cleaning at close to 30 sites.
Days after this activity, the vehicles and the equipment that I've
just highlighted disappear and the site returns to patterns of
normalcy. We don't know precisely what Iraq was moving, but the
inspectors already knew about these sites, so Iraq knew that they would
We must ask ourselves: Why would Iraq suddenly move equipment of
this nature before inspections if they were anxious to demonstrate what
they had or did not have?
Remember the first intercept in which two Iraqis talked about the
need to hide a modified vehicle from the inspectors. Where did Iraq
take all of this equipment? Why wasn't it presented to the inspectors?
Iraq also has refused to permit any U-2 reconnaissance flights that
would give the inspectors a better sense of what's being moved before,
during and after inspectors.
POWELL: This refusal to allow this kind of reconnaissance is in
direct, specific violation of operative paragraph seven of our
Saddam Hussein and his regime are not just trying to conceal
weapons, they're also trying to hide people. You know the basic facts.
Iraq has not complied with its obligation to allow immediate,
unimpeded, unrestricted and private access to all officials and other
persons as required by Resolution 1441.
The regime only allows interviews with inspectors in the presence
of an Iraqi official, a minder. The official Iraqi organization charged
with facilitating inspections announced, announced publicly and
announced ominously that, quote, ``Nobody is ready to leave Iraq to be
Iraqi Vice President Ramadan accused the inspectors of conducting
espionage, a veiled threat that anyone cooperating with U.N. inspectors
was committing treason.
Iraq did not meet its obligations under 1441 to provide a
comprehensive list of scientists associated with its weapons of mass
destruction programs. Iraq's list was out of date and contained only
about 500 names, despite the fact that UNSCOM had earlier put together
a list of about 3,500 names.
Let me just tell you what a number of human sources have told us.
Saddam Hussein has directly participated in the effort to prevent
interviews. In early December, Saddam Hussein had all Iraqi scientists
warned of the serious consequences that they and their families would
face if they revealed any sensitive information to the inspectors. They
were forced to sign documents acknowledging that divulging information
is punishable by death.
Saddam Hussein also said that scientists should be told not to
agree to leave Iraq; anyone who agreed to be interviewed outside Iraq
would be treated as a spy. This violates 1441.
In mid-November, just before the inspectors returned, Iraqi experts
were ordered to report to the headquarters of the special security
organization to receive counterintelligence training. The training
focused on evasion methods, interrogation resistance techniques, and
how to mislead inspectors.
Ladies and gentlemen, these are not assertions. These are facts,
corroborated by many sources, some of them sources of the intelligence
services of other countries.
For example, in mid-December weapons experts at one facility were
replaced by Iraqi intelligence agents who were to deceive inspectors
about the work that was being done there.
POWELL: On orders from Saddam Hussein, Iraqi officials issued a
false death certificate for one scientist, and he was sent into
In the middle of January, experts at one facility that was related
to weapons of mass destruction, those experts had been ordered to stay
home from work to avoid the inspectors. Workers from other Iraqi
military facilities not engaged in elicit weapons projects were to
replace the workers who'd been sent home. A dozen experts have been
placed under house arrest, not in their own houses, but as a group at
one of Saddam Hussein's guest houses. It goes on and on and on.
As the examples I have just presented show, the information and
intelligence we have gathered point to an active and systematic effort
on the part of the Iraqi regime to keep key materials and people from
the inspectors in direct violation of Resolution 1441. The pattern is
not just one of reluctant cooperation, nor is it merely a lack of
cooperation. What we see is a deliberate campaign to prevent any
meaningful inspection work.
My colleagues, operative paragraph four of U.N. Resolution 1441,
which we lingered over so long last fall, clearly states that false
statements and omissions in the declaration and a failure by Iraq at
any time to comply with and cooperate fully in the implementation of
this resolution shall constitute--the facts speak for themselves--shall
constitute a further material breach of its obligation.
POWELL: We wrote it this way to give Iraq an early test--to give
Iraq an early test. Would they give an honest declaration and would
they early on indicate a willingness to cooperate with the inspectors?
It was designed to be an early test.
They failed that test. By this standard, the standard of this
operative paragraph, I believe that Iraq is now in further material
breach of its obligations. I believe this conclusion is irrefutable and
Iraq has now placed itself in danger of the serious consequences
called for in U.N. Resolution 1441. And this body places itself in
danger of irrelevance if it allows Iraq to continue to defy its will
without responding effectively and immediately.
The issue before us is not how much time we are willing to give the
inspectors to be frustrated by Iraqi obstruction. But how much longer
are we willing to put up with Iraq's noncompliance before we, as a
council, we, as the United Nations, say: ``Enough. Enough.''
The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat
that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction pose to the world. Let me now
turn to those deadly weapons programs and describe why they are real
and present dangers to the region and to the world.
First, biological weapons. We have talked frequently here about
biological weapons. By way of introduction and history, I think there
are just three quick points I need to make.
First, you will recall that it took UNSCOM four long and
frustrating years to pry--to pry--an admission out of Iraq that it had
Second, when Iraq finally admitted having these weapons in 1995,
the quantities were vast. Less than a teaspoon of dry anthrax, a little
bit about this amount--this is just about the amount of a
teaspoon--less than a teaspoon full of dry anthrax in an envelope
shutdown the United States Senate in the fall of 2001. This forced
several hundred people to undergo emergency medical treatment and
killed two postal workers just from an amount just about this quantity
that was inside of an envelope.
POWELL: Iraq declared 8,500 liters of anthrax, but UNSCOM estimates
that Saddam Hussein could have produced 25,000 liters. If concentrated
into this dry form, this amount would be enough to fill tens upon tens
upon tens of thousands of teaspoons. And Saddam Hussein has not
verifiably accounted for even one teaspoon-full of this deadly
And that is my third point. And it is key. The Iraqis have never
accounted for all of the biological weapons they admitted they had and
we know they had. They have never accounted for all the organic
material used to make them. And they have not accounted for many of the
weapons filled with these agents such as there are 400 bombs. This is
evidence, not conjecture. This is true. This is all well-documented.
Dr. Blix told this council that Iraq has provided little evidence
to verify anthrax production and no convincing evidence of its
destruction. It should come as no shock then, that since Saddam
Hussein forced out the last inspectors in 1998, we have amassed much
intelligence indicating that Iraq is continuing to make these weapons.
One of the most worrisome things that emerges from the thick
intelligence file we have on Iraq's biological weapons is the existence
of mobile production facilities used to make biological agents.
POWELL: Let me take you inside that intelligence file and share
with you what we know from eye witness accounts. We have firsthand
descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails.
The trucks and train cars are easily moved and are designed to
evade detection by inspectors. In a matter of months, they can produce
a quantity of biological poison equal to the entire amount that Iraq
claimed to have produced in the years prior to the Gulf War.
Although Iraq's mobile production program began in the mid-1990s,
U.N. inspectors at the time only had vague hints of such programs.
Confirmation came later, in the year 2000.
The source was an eye witness, an Iraqi chemical engineer who
supervised one of these facilities. He actually was present during
biological agent production runs. He was also at the site when an
accident occurred in 1998. Twelve technicians died from exposure to
He reported that when UNSCOM was in country and inspecting, the
biological weapons agent production always began on Thursdays at
midnight because Iraq thought UNSCOM would not inspect on the Muslim
Holy Day, Thursday night through Friday. He added that this was
important because the units could not be broken down in the middle of a
production run, which had to be completed by Friday evening before the
inspectors might arrive again.
This defector is currently hiding in another country with the
certain knowledge that Saddam Hussein will kill him if he finds him.
His eye-witness account of these mobile production facilities has been
corroborated by other sources.
A second source, an Iraqi civil engineer in a position to know the
details of the program, confirmed the existence of transportable
facilities moving on trailers.
A third source, also in a position to know, reported in summer 2002
that Iraq had manufactured mobile production systems mounted on road
trailer units and on rail cars.
Finally, a fourth source, an Iraqi major, who defected, confirmed
that Iraq has mobile biological research laboratories, in addition to
the production facilities I mentioned earlier.
POWELL: We have diagrammed what our sources reported about these
mobile facilities. Here you see both truck and rail car-mounted mobile
factories. The description our sources gave us of the technical
features required by such facilities are highly detailed and extremely
accurate. As these drawings based on their description show, we know
what the fermenters look like, we know what the tanks, pumps,
compressors and other parts look like. We know how they fit together.
We know how they work. And we know a great deal about the platforms on
which they are mounted.
As shown in this diagram, these factories can be concealed easily,
either by moving ordinary-looking trucks and rail cars along Iraq's
thousands of miles of highway or track, or by parking them in a garage
or warehouse or somewhere in Iraq's extensive system of underground
tunnels and bunkers.
We know that Iraq has at lest seven of these mobile biological
agent factories. The truck-mounted ones have at least two or three
trucks each. That means that the mobile production facilities are very
few, perhaps 18 trucks that we know of--there may be more--but perhaps
18 that we know of. Just imagine trying to find 18 trucks among the
thousands and thousands of trucks that travel the roads of Iraq every
It took the inspectors four years to find out that Iraq was making
biological agents. How long do you think it will take the inspectors to
find even one of these 18 trucks without Iraq coming forward, as they
are supposed to, with the information about these kinds of
POWELL: Ladies and gentlemen, these are sophisticated facilities.
For example, they can produce anthrax and botulinum toxin. In fact,
they can produce enough dry biological agent in a single month to kill
thousands upon thousands of people. And dry agent of this type is the
most lethal form for human beings.
By 1998, U.N. experts agreed that the Iraqis had perfected drying
techniques for their biological weapons programs. Now, Iraq has
incorporated this drying expertise into these mobile production
We know from Iraq's past admissions that it has successfully
weaponized not only anthrax, but also other biological agents,
including botulinum toxin, aflatoxin and ricin.
But Iraq's research efforts did not stop there. Saddam Hussein has
investigated dozens of biological agents causing diseases such as gas
gangrene, plague, typhus (ph), tetanus, cholera, camelpox and
hemorrhagic fever, and he also has the wherewithal to develop
The Iraqi regime has also developed ways to disburse lethal
biological agents, widely and discriminately into the water supply,
into the air. For example, Iraq had a program to modify aerial fuel
tanks for Mirage jets. This video of an Iraqi test flight obtained by
UNSCOM some years ago shows an Iraqi F-1 Mirage jet aircraft. Note the
spray coming from beneath the Mirage; that is 2,000 liters of simulated
anthrax that a jet is spraying.
In 1995, an Iraqi military officer, Mujahid Sali Abdul Latif (ph),
told inspectors that Iraq intended the spray tanks to be mounted onto a
MiG-21 that had been converted into an unmanned aerial vehicle, or a
UAV. UAVs outfitted with spray tanks constitute an ideal method for
launching a terrorist attack using biological weapons.
POWELL: Iraq admitted to producing four spray tanks. But to this
day, it has provided no credible evidence that they were destroyed,
evidence that was required by the international community.
There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons
and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the
ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can
cause massive death and destruction. If biological weapons seem too
terrible to contemplate, chemical weapons are equally chilling.
UNMOVIC already laid out much of this, and it is documented for all
of us to read in UNSCOM's 1999 report on the subject.
Let me set the stage with three key points that all of us need to
keep in mind: First, Saddam Hussein has used these horrific weapons on
another country and on his own people. In fact, in the history of
chemical warfare, no country has had more battlefield experience with
chemical weapons since World War I than Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
Second, as with biological weapons, Saddam Hussein has never
accounted for vast amounts of chemical weaponry: 550 artillery shells
with mustard, 30,000 empty munitions and enough precursors to increase
his stockpile to as much as 500 tons of chemical agents. If we consider
just one category of missing weaponry--6,500 bombs from the Iran-Iraq
war--UNMOVIC says the amount of chemical agent in them would be in the
order of 1,000 tons. These quantities of chemical weapons are now
Dr. Blix has quipped that, quote, ``Mustard gas is not (inaudible)
You are supposed to know what you did with it.''
We believe Saddam Hussein knows what he did with it, and he has not
come clean with the international community. We have evidence these
weapons existed. What we don't have is evidence from Iraq that they
have been destroyed or where they are. That is what we are still
Third point, Iraq's record on chemical weapons is replete with
lies. It took years for Iraq to finally admit that it had produced four
tons of the deadly nerve agent, VX. A single drop of VX on the skin
will kill in minutes. Four tons.
The admission only came out after inspectors collected
documentation as a result of the defection of Hussein Kamal, Saddam
Hussein's late son-in-law. UNSCOM also gained forensic evidence that
Iraq had produced VX and put it into weapons for delivery.
POWELL: Yet, to this day, Iraq denies it had ever weaponized VX.
And on January 27, UNMOVIC told this council that it has information
that conflicts with the Iraqi account of its VX program.
We know that Iraq has embedded key portions of its illicit chemical
weapons infrastructure within its legitimate civilian industry. To all
outward appearances, even to experts, the infrastructure looks like an
ordinary civilian operation. Illicit and legitimate production can go
on simultaneously; or, on a dime, this dual-use infrastructure can turn
from clandestine to commercial and then back again.
These inspections would be unlikely, any inspections of such
facilities would be unlikely to turn up anything prohibited, especially
if there is any warning that the inspections are coming. Call it
ingenuous or evil genius, but the Iraqis deliberately designed their
chemical weapons programs to be inspected. It is infrastructure with a
Under the guise of dual-use infrastructure, Iraq has undertaken an
effort to reconstitute facilities that were closely associated with its
past program to develop and produce chemical weapons.
For example, Iraq has rebuilt key portions of the Tariq (ph) state
establishment. Tariq (ph) includes facilities designed specifically for
Iraq's chemical weapons program and employs key figures from past
That's the production end of Saddam's chemical weapons business.
What about the delivery end?
I'm going to show you a small part of a chemical complex called
al-Moussaid (ph), a site that Iraq has used for at least three years to
transship chemical weapons from production facilities out to the
In May 2002, our satellites photographed the unusual activity in
this picture. Here we see cargo vehicles are again at this
transshipment point, and we can see that they are accompanied by a
decontamination vehicle associated with biological or chemical weapons
POWELL: What makes this picture significant is that we have a human
source who has corroborated that movement of chemical weapons occurred
at this site at that time. So it's not just the photo, and it's not an
individual seeing the photo. It's the photo and then the knowledge of
an individual being brought together to make the case.
This photograph of the site taken two months later in July shows
not only the previous site, which is the figure in the middle at the
top with the bulldozer sign near it, it shows that this previous site,
as well as all of the other sites around the site, have been fully
bulldozed and graded. The topsoil has been removed. The Iraqis
literally removed the crust of the earth from large portions of this
site in order to conceal chemical weapons evidence that would be there
from years of chemical weapons activity.
To support its deadly biological and chemical weapons programs,
Iraq procures needed items from around the world using an extensive
clandestine network. What we know comes largely from intercepted
communications and human sources who are in a position to know the
Iraq's procurement efforts include equipment that can filter and
separate micro-organisms and toxins involved in biological weapons,
equipment that can be used to concentrate the agent, growth media that
can be used to continue producing anthrax and botulinum toxin,
sterilization equipment for laboratories, glass-lined reactors and
specialty pumps that can handle corrosive chemical weapons agents and
precursors, large amounts of vinyl chloride, a precursor for nerve and
blister agents, and other chemicals such as sodium sulfide, an
important mustard agent precursor.
Now, of course, Iraq will argue that these items can also be used
for legitimate purposes. But if that is true, why do we have to learn
about them by intercepting communications and risking the lives of
human agents? With Iraq's well documented history on biological and
chemical weapons, why should any of us give Iraq the benefit of the
doubt? I don't, and I don't think you will either after you hear this
POWELL: Just a few weeks ago, we intercepted communications between
two commanders in Iraq's Second Republican Guard Corps. One commander
is going to be giving an instruction to the other. You will hear as
this unfolds that what he wants to communicate to the other guy, he
wants to make sure the other guy hears clearly, to the point of
repeating it so that it gets written down and completely understood.
(BEGIN AUDIO TAPE)
1/8Speaking in Foreign Language. 3/8
(END AUDIO TAPE)
POWELL: Let's review a few selected items of this conversation. Two
officers talking to each other on the radio want to make sure that
nothing is misunderstood:
The expression, the expression, ``I got it.''
``Nerve agents. Nerve agents. Wherever it comes up.''
``Wherever it comes up.''
``In the wireless instructions, in the instructions.''
``Correction. No. In the wireless instructions.''
``Wireless. I got it.''
Why does he repeat it that way? Why is he so forceful in making
sure this is understood? And why did he focus on wireless
instructions? Because the senior officer is concerned that somebody
might be listening.
Well, somebody was.
``Nerve agents. Stop talking about it. They are listening to us.
Don't give any evidence that we have these horrible agents.''
Well, we know that they do. And this kind of conversation confirms
Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of
between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough
agent to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets.
POWELL: Even the low end of 100 tons of agent would enable Saddam
Hussein to cause mass casualties across more than 100 square miles of
territory, an area nearly 5 times the size of Manhattan.
Let me remind you that, of the 122 millimeter chemical warheads,
that the U.N. inspectors found recently, this discovery could very well
be, as has been noted, the tip of the submerged iceberg. The question
before us, all my friends, is when will we see the rest of the
Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein has used such
weapons. And Saddam Hussein has no compunction about using them again,
against his neighbors and against his own people.
And we have sources who tell us that he recently has authorized his
field commanders to use them. He wouldn't be passing out the orders if
he didn't have the weapons or the intent to use them.
We also have sources who tell us that, since the 1980s, Saddam's
regime has been experimenting on human beings to perfect its biological
or chemical weapons.
A source said that 1,600 death row prisoners were transferred in
1995 to a special unit for such experiments. An eye witness saw
prisoners tied down to beds, experiments conducted on them, blood
oozing around the victim's mouths and autopsies performed to confirm
the effects on the prisoners. Saddam Hussein's humanity--inhumanity has
Let me turn now to nuclear weapons. We have no indication that
Saddam Hussein has ever abandoned his nuclear weapons program.
On the contrary, we have more than a decade of proof that he
remains determined to acquire nuclear weapons.
To fully appreciate the challenge that we face today, remember
that, in 1991, the inspectors searched Iraq's primary nuclear weapons
facilities for the first time. And they found nothing to conclude that
Iraq had a nuclear weapons program.
But based on defector information in May of 1991, Saddam Hussein's
lie was exposed. In truth, Saddam Hussein had a massive clandestine
nuclear weapons program that covered several different techniques to
enrich uranium, including electromagnetic isotope separation, gas
centrifuge, and gas diffusion. We estimate that this elicit program
cost the Iraqis several billion dollars.
POWELL: Nonetheless, Iraq continued to tell the IAEA that it had no
nuclear weapons program. If Saddam had not been stopped, Iraq could
have produced a nuclear bomb by 1993, years earlier than most
worse-case assessments that had been made before the war.
In 1995, as a result of another defector, we find out that, after
his invasion of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein had initiated a crash program to
build a crude nuclear weapon in violation of Iraq's U.N. obligations.
Saddam Hussein already possesses two out of the three key
components needed to build a nuclear bomb. He has a cadre of nuclear
scientists with the expertise, and he has a bomb design.
Since 1998, his efforts to reconstitute his nuclear program have
been focused on acquiring the third and last component, sufficient
fissile material to produce a nuclear explosion. To make the fissile
material, he needs to develop an ability to enrich uranium.
Saddam Hussein is determined to get his hands on a nuclear bomb. He
is so determined that he has made repeated covert attempts to acquire
high-specification aluminum tubes from 11 different countries, even
after inspections resumed.
These tubes are controlled by the Nuclear Suppliers Group precisely
because they can be used as centrifuges for enriching uranium. By now,
just about everyone has heard of these tubes, and we all know that
there are differences of opinion. There is controversy about what these
tubes are for.
Most U.S. experts think they are intended to serve as rotors in
centrifuges used to enrich uranium. Other experts, and the Iraqis
themselves, argue that they are really to produce the rocket bodies for
a conventional weapon, a multiple rocket launcher.
Let me tell you what is not controversial about these tubes. First,
all the experts who have analyzed the tubes in our possession agree
that they can be adapted for centrifuge use. Second, Iraq had no
business buying them for any purpose. They are banned for Iraq.
I am no expert on centrifuge tubes, but just as an old Army
trooper, I can tell you a couple of things: First, it strikes me as
quite odd that these tubes are manufactured to a tolerance that far
exceeds U.S. requirements for comparable rockets.
Maybe Iraqis just manufacture their conventional weapons to a
higher standard than we do, but I don't think so.
POWELL: Second, we actually have examined tubes from several
different batches that were seized clandestinely before they reached
Baghdad. What we notice in these different batches is a progression to
higher and higher levels of specification, including, in the latest
batch, an anodized coating on extremely smooth inner and outer
surfaces. Why would they continue refining the specifications, go to
all that trouble for something that, if it was a rocket, would soon be
blown into shrapnel when it went off?
The high tolerance aluminum tubes are only part of the story. We
also have intelligence from multiple sources that Iraq is attempting to
acquire magnets and high-speed balancing machines; both items can be
used in a gas centrifuge program to enrich uranium.
In 1999 and 2000, Iraqi officials negotiated with firms in Romania,
India, Russia and Slovenia for the purchase of a magnet production
plant. Iraq wanted the plant to produce magnets weighing 20 to 30
grams. That's the same weight as the magnets used in Iraq's gas
centrifuge program before the Gulf War. This incident linked with the
tubes is another indicator of Iraq's attempt to reconstitute its
nuclear weapons program.
Intercepted communications from mid-2000 through last summer show
that Iraq front companies sought to buy machines that can be used to
balance gas centrifuge rotors. One of these companies also had been
involved in a failed effort in 2001 to smuggle aluminum tubes into
People will continue to debate this issue, but there is no doubt in
my mind, these elicit procurement efforts show that Saddam Hussein is
very much focused on putting in place the key missing piece from his
nuclear weapons program, the ability to produce fissile material. He
also has been busy trying to maintain the other key parts of his
nuclear program, particularly his cadre of key nuclear scientists.
It is noteworthy that, over the last 18 months, Saddam Hussein has
paid increasing personal attention to Iraqi's top nuclear scientists, a
group that the governmental-controlled press calls openly, his nuclear
mujahedeen. He regularly exhorts them and praises their progress.
Progress toward what end?
Long ago, the Security Council, this council, required Iraq to halt
all nuclear activities of any kind.
POWELL: Let me talk now about the systems Iraq is developing to
deliver weapons of mass destruction, in particular Iraq's ballistic
missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs.
First, missiles. We all remember that before the Gulf War Saddam
Hussein's goal was missiles that flew not just hundreds, but thousands
of kilometers. He wanted to strike not only his neighbors, but also
nations far beyond his borders.
While inspectors destroyed most of the prohibited ballistic
missiles, numerous intelligence reports over the past decade, from
sources inside Iraq, indicate that Saddam Hussein retains a covert
force of up to a few dozen Scud variant ballistic missiles. These are
missiles with a range of 650 to 900 kilometers.
We know from intelligence and Iraq's own admissions that Iraq's
alleged permitted ballistic missiles, the al-Samud II (ph) and the
al-Fatah (ph), violate the 150-kilometer limit established by this
council in Resolution 687. These are prohibited systems.
UNMOVIC has also reported that Iraq has illegally imported 380
SA-2 (ph) rocket engines. These are likely for use in the al-Samud II
(ph). Their import was illegal on three counts. Resolution 687
prohibited all military shipments into Iraq. UNSCOM specifically
prohibited use of these engines in surface-to-surface missiles. And
finally, as we have just noted, they are for a system that exceeds the
150-kilometer range limit.
Worst of all, some of these engines were acquired as late as
December--after this council passed Resolution 1441.
What I want you to know today is that Iraq has programs that are
intended to produce ballistic missiles that fly 1,000 kilometers.
One program is pursuing a liquid fuel missile that would be able to fly
more than 1,200 kilometers. And you can see from this map, as well as I
can, who will be in danger of these missiles.
As part of this effort, another little piece of evidence, Iraq has
built an engine test stand that is larger than anything it has ever
had. Notice the dramatic difference in size between the test stand on
the left, the old one, and the new one on the right. Note the large
exhaust vent. This is where the flame from the engine comes out. The
exhaust on the right test stand is five times longer than the one on
the left. The one on the left was used for short-range missile. The one
on the right is clearly intended for long-range missiles that can fly
This photograph was taken in April of 2002. Since then, the test
stand has been finished and a roof has been put over it so it will be
harder for satellites to see what's going on underneath the test
Saddam Hussein's intentions have never changed. He is not
developing the missiles for self-defense. These are missiles that Iraq
wants in order to project power, to threaten, and to deliver chemical,
biological and, if we let him, nuclear warheads.
Now, unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs.
Iraq has been working on a variety of UAVs for more than a decade.
This is just illustrative of what a UAV would look like. This effort
has included attempts to modify for unmanned flight the MiG-21 (ph) and
with greater success an aircraft called the L-29 (ph). However, Iraq is
now concentrating not on these airplanes, but on developing and testing
smaller UAVs, such as this.
UAVs are well suited for dispensing chemical and biological
POWELL: There is ample evidence that Iraq has dedicated much effort
to developing and testing spray devices that could be adapted for UAVs.
And of the little that Saddam Hussein told us about UAVs, he has not
told the truth. One of these lies is graphically and indisputably
demonstrated by intelligence we collected on June 27, last year.
According to Iraq's December 7 declaration, its UAVs have a range
of only 80 kilometers. But we detected one of Iraq's newest UAVs in a
test flight that went 500 kilometers nonstop on autopilot in the race
track pattern depicted here.
Not only is this test well in excess of the 150 kilometers that the
United Nations permits, the test was left out of Iraq's December 7th
declaration. The UAV was flown around and around and around in a
circle. And so, that its 80 kilometer limit really was 500 kilometers
unrefueled and on autopilot, violative of all of its obligations under
The linkages over the past 10 years between Iraq's UAV program and
biological and chemical warfare agents are of deep concern to us. Iraq
could use these small UAVs which have a wingspan of only a few meters
to deliver biological agents to its neighbors or if transported, to
other countries, including the United States.
My friends, the information I have presented to you about these
terrible weapons and about Iraq's continued flaunting of its
obligations under Security Council Resolution 1441 links to a subject I
now want to spend a little bit of time on. And that has to do with
Our concern is not just about these elicit weapons. It's the way
that these elicit weapons can be connected to terrorists and terrorist
organizations that have no compunction about using such devices against
innocent people around the world.
Iraq and terrorism go back decades. Baghdad trains Palestine
Liberation Front members in small arms and explosives. Saddam uses the
Arab Liberation Front to funnel money to the families of Palestinian
suicide bombers in order to prolong the Intifada. And it's no secret
that Saddam's own intelligence service was involved in dozens of
attacks or attempted assassinations in the 1990s.
But what I want to bring to your attention today is the potentially
much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al Qaida terrorist
network, a nexus that combines classic terrorist organizations and
modern methods of murder. Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network
headed by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, an associated in collaborator of Osama
bin Laden and his Al Qaida lieutenants.
Zarqawi, a Palestinian born in Jordan, fought in the Afghan war
more than a decade ago. Returning to Afghanistan in 2000, he oversaw a
terrorist training camp. One of his specialities and one of the
specialties of this camp is poisons. When our coalition ousted the
Taliban, the Zarqaqi network helped establish another poison and
explosive training center camp. And this camp is located in
POWELL: You see a picture of this camp.
The network is teaching its operatives how to produce ricin and
other poisons. Let me remind you how ricin works. Less than a
pinch--image a pinch of salt--less than a pinch of ricin, eating just
this amount in your food, would cause shock followed by circulatory
failure. Death comes within 72 hours and there is no antidote, there is
no cure. It is fatal.
Those helping to run this camp are Zarqawi lieutenants operating in
northern Kurdish areas outside Saddam Hussein's controlled Iraq. But
Baghdad has an agent in the most senior levels of the radical
organization, Ansar al-Islam, that controls this corner of Iraq. In
2000 this agent offered Al Qaida safe haven in the region. After we
swept Al Qaida from Afghanistan, some of its members accepted this safe
haven. They remain their today.
Zarqawi's activities are not confined to this small corner of north
east Iraq. He traveled to Baghdad in May 2002 for medical treatment,
staying in the capital of Iraq for two months while he recuperated to
fight another day.
During this stay, nearly two dozen extremists converged on Baghdad
and established a base of operations there. These Al Qaida affiliates,
based in Baghdad, now coordinate the movement of people, money and
supplies into and throughout Iraq for his network, and they've now been
operating freely in the capital for more than eight months.
Iraqi officials deny accusations of ties with Al Qaida. These
denials are simply not credible. Last year an Al Qaida associate
bragged that the situation in Iraq was, quote, ``good,'' that Baghdad
could be transited quickly.
We know these affiliates are connected to Zarqawi because they
remain even today in regular contact with his direct subordinates,
including the poison cell plotters, and they are involved in moving
more than money and materiale.
Last year, two suspected Al Qaida operatives were arrested crossing
from Iraq into Saudi Arabia. They were linked to associates of the
Baghdad cell, and one of them received training in Afghanistan on how
to use cyanide. From his terrorist network in Iraq, Zarqawi can direct
his network in the Middle East and beyond.
We, in the United States, all of us at the State Department, and
the Agency for International Development--we all lost a dear friend
with the cold-blooded murder of Mr. Lawrence Foley in Amman, Jordan
last October, a despicable act was committed that day. The
assassination of an individual whose sole mission was to assist the
people of Jordan. The captured assassin says his cell received money
and weapons from Zarqawi for that murder.
POWELL: After the attack, an associate of the assassin left Jordan
to go to Iraq to obtain weapons and explosives for further operations.
Iraqi officials protest that they are not aware of the whereabouts of
Zarqawi or of any of his associates. Again, these protests are not
credible. We know of Zarqawi's activities in Baghdad. I described them
And now let me add one other fact. We asked a friendly security
service to approach Baghdad about extraditing Zarqawi and providing
information about him and his close associates. This service contacted
Iraqi officials twice, and we passed details that should have made it
easy to find Zarqawi. The network remains in Baghdad. Zarqawi still
remains at large to come and go.
As my colleagues around this table and as the citizens they
represent in Europe know, Zarqawi's terrorism is not confined to the
Middle East. Zarqawi and his network have plotted terrorist actions
against countries, including France, Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany and
According to detainee Abuwatia (ph), who graduated from Zarqawi's
terrorist camp in Afghanistan, tasks at least nine North African
extremists from 2001 to travel to Europe to conduct poison and
Since last year, members of this network have been apprehended in
France, Britain, Spain and Italy. By our last count, 116 operatives
connected to this global web have been arrested.
The chart you are seeing shows the network in Europe. We know about
this European network, and we know about its links to Zarqawi, because
the detainee who provided the information about the targets also
provided the names of members of the network.
Three of those he identified by name were arrested in France last
December. In the apartments of the terrorists, authorities found
circuits for explosive devices and a list of ingredients to make
The detainee who helped piece this together says the plot also
targeted Britain. Later evidence, again, proved him right. When the
British unearthed a cell there just last month, one British police
officer was murdered during the disruption of the cell.
We also know that Zarqawi's colleagues have been active in the
Pankisi Gorge, Georgia and in Chechnya, Russia. The plotting to which
they are linked is not mere chatter. Members of Zarqawi's network say
their goal was to kill Russians with toxins.
We are not surprised that Iraq is harboring Zarqawi and his
subordinates. This understanding builds on decades long experience with
respect to ties between Iraq and Al Qaida.
POWELL: Going back to the early and mid-1990s, when bin Laden was
based in Sudan, an Al Qaida source tells us that Saddam and bin Laden
reached an understanding that Al Qaida would no longer support
activities against Baghdad. Early Al Qaida ties were forged by secret,
high-level intelligence service contacts with Al Qaida, secret Iraqi
intelligence high-level contacts with Al Qaida.
We know members of both organizations met repeatedly and have met
at least eight times at very senior levels since the early 1990s. In
1996, a foreign security service tells us, that bin Laden met with a
senior Iraqi intelligence official in Khartoum, and later met the
director of the Iraqi intelligence service.
Saddam became more interested as he saw Al Qaida's appalling
attacks. A detained Al Qaida member tells us that Saddam was more
willing to assist Al Qaida after the 1998 bombings of our embassies in
Kenya and Tanzania. Saddam was also impressed by Al Qaida's attacks on
the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000.
Iraqis continued to visit bin Laden in his new home in Afghanistan.
A senior defector, one of Saddam's former intelligence chiefs in
Europe, says Saddam sent his agents to Afghanistan sometime in the
mid-1990s to provide training to Al Qaida members on document forgery.
From the late 1990s until 2001, the Iraqi embassy in Pakistan
played the role of liaison to the Al Qaida organization.
Some believe, some claim these contacts do not amount to much. They
say Saddam Hussein's secular tyranny and Al Qaida's religious tyranny
do not mix. I am not comforted by this thought. Ambition and hatred are
enough to bring Iraq and Al Qaida together, enough so Al Qaida could
learn how to build more sophisticated bombs and learn how to forge
documents, and enough so that Al Qaida could turn to Iraq for help in
acquiring expertise on weapons of mass destruction.
And the record of Saddam Hussein's cooperation with other Islamist
terrorist organizations is clear. Hamas, for example, opened an office
in Baghdad in 1999, and Iraq has hosted conferences attended by
Palestine Islamic Jihad. These groups are at the forefront of
sponsoring suicide attacks against Israel.
Al Qaida continues to have a deep interest in acquiring weapons of
mass destruction. As with the story of Zarqawi and his network, I can
trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq
provided training in these weapons to Al Qaida.
Fortunately, this operative is now detained, and he has told his
story. I will relate it to you now as he, himself, described it.
This senior Al Qaida terrorist was responsible for one of Al
Qaida's training camps in Afghanistan.
POWELL: His information comes first-hand from his personal
involvement at senior levels of Al Qaida. He says bin Laden and his top
deputy in Afghanistan, deceased Al Qaida leader Muhammad Atif (ph), did
not believe that Al Qaida labs in Afghanistan were capable enough to
manufacture these chemical or biological agents. They needed to go
somewhere else. They had to look outside of Afghanistan for help. Where
did they go? Where did they look? They went to Iraq.
The support that (inaudible) describes included Iraq offering
chemical or biological weapons training for two Al Qaida associates
beginning in December 2000. He says that a militant known as Abu Abdula
Al-Iraqi (ph) had been sent to Iraq several times between 1997 and 2000
for help in acquiring poisons and gases. Abdula Al-Iraqi (ph)
characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as
As I said at the outset, none of this should come as a surprise to
any of us. Terrorism has been a tool used by Saddam for decades. Saddam
was a supporter of terrorism long before these terrorist networks had a
name. And this support continues. The nexus of poisons and terror is
new. The nexus of Iraq and terror is old. The combination is lethal.
With this track record, Iraqi denials of supporting terrorism take
the place alongside the other Iraqi denials of weapons of mass
destruction. It is all a web of lies.
When we confront a regime that harbors ambitions for regional
domination, hides weapons of mass destruction and provides haven and
active support for terrorists, we are not confronting the past, we are
confronting the present. And unless we act, we are confronting an even
more frightening future.
My friends, this has been a long and a detailed presentation. And I
thank you for your patience. But there is one more subject that I would
like to touch on briefly. And it should be a subject of deep and
continuing concern to this council, Saddam Hussein's violations of
Underlying all that I have said, underlying all the facts and the
patterns of behavior that I have identified as Saddam Hussein's
contempt for the will of this council, his contempt for the truth and
most damning of all, his utter contempt for human life. Saddam
Hussein's use of mustard and nerve gas against the Kurds in 1988 was
one of the 20th century's most horrible atrocities; 5,000 men, women
and children died.
POWELL: His campaign against the Kurds from 1987 to '89 included
mass summary executions, disappearances, arbitrary jailing, ethnic
cleansing and the destruction of some 2,000 villages. He has also
conducted ethnic cleansing against the Shi'a Iraqis and the Marsh Arabs
whose culture has flourished for more than a millennium. Saddam
Hussein's police state ruthlessly eliminates anyone who dares to
dissent. Iraq has more forced disappearance cases than any other
country, tens of thousands of people reported missing in the past
Nothing points more clearly to Saddam Hussein's dangerous
intentions and the threat he poses to all of us than his calculated
cruelty to his own citizens and to his neighbors. Clearly, Saddam
Hussein and his regime will stop at nothing until something stops him.
For more than 20 years, by word and by deed Saddam Hussein has
pursued his ambition to dominate Iraq and the broader Middle East using
the only means he knows, intimidation, coercion and annihilation of all
those who might stand in his way. For Saddam Hussein, possession of the
world's most deadly weapons is the ultimate trump card, the one he most
hold to fulfill his ambition.
We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of
mass destruction; he's determined to make more. Given Saddam Hussein's
history of aggression, given what we know of his grandiose plans, given
what we know of his terrorist associations and given his determination
to exact revenge on those who oppose him, should we take the risk that
he will not some day use these weapons at a time and the place and in
the manner of his choosing at a time when the world is in a much weaker
position to respond?
The United States will not and cannot run that risk to the American
people. Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass
destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, not in a
post-September 11th world.
My colleagues, over three months ago this council recognized that
Iraq continued to pose a threat to international peace and security,
and that Iraq had been and remained in material breach of its
disarmament obligations. Today Iraq still poses a threat and Iraq still
remains in material breach.
POWELL: Indeed, by its failure to seize on its one last opportunity
to come clean and disarm, Iraq has put itself in deeper material breach
and closer to the day when it will face serious consequences for its
continued defiance of this council.
My colleagues, we have an obligation to our citizens, we have an
obligation to this body to see that our resolutions are complied with.
We wrote 1441 not in order to go to war, we wrote 1441 to try to
preserve the peace. We wrote 1441 to give Iraq one last chance. Iraq is
not so far taking that one last chance.
We must not shrink from whatever is ahead of us. We must not fail
in our duty and our responsibility to the citizens of the countries
that are represented by this body.