U.S. officials: Iraq weapons report lacks crucial data
Iraq's 12,000-page weapons declaration does not account for a number of missing chemical and biological weapons and fails to explain purchases U.S. intelligence believes are related to Saddam Hussein's nuclear program, U.S. officials said.
Iraq used the lengthy document to support its contention it possesses none of these weapons of mass destruction, the officials said late Thursday, according to AP.
The tentative U.S. conclusion that the report is lacking sets the stage for a critical set of decisions by President Bush, who views the declaration as Saddam's last chance to come clean, officials said.
The Iraqi report largely rehashes old declarations and reports and contains little new information, officials said. It has done nothing to alter the U.S. belief that Iraq possesses chemical and biological weapons and is pursuing nuclear weapons, officials said.
The report, being analyzed at the CIA and elsewhere, does not account for quantities of chemical and biological agents that were missing when U.N. inspectors were expelled from Iraq in 1998, officials said. Hundreds of mustard gas shells, for example, remain unaccounted for, officials said. (Albawaba.com)
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