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No Banned Weapons Found So Far in Iraq, says US Expert - 2003-10-02


U.S. arms inspector David Kay says he has found no weapons in Iraq. But after briefing lawmakers on Capitol Hill, he said his team has discovered evidence of a weapons program.

After a full day of briefing various House and Senate committees, Mr. Kay spoke to reporters about the interim progress report he gave to Congress. "We have not found at this point, actual weapons," he said.

After three months of work, Mr. Kay says his team has found evidence of weapons programs. He said this includes activities and equipment that were not declared to U.N. inspectors when they returned to Iraq in November of last year.

"This includes substantial equipment and activities in the chemical and biological area, and much more substantial activity in the missile area," he pointed out. "The Iraqis were engaged in a full-scale program that would have extended their delivery systems out beyond a thousand kilometers, that is enough to reach Ankara, Cairo, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh. These were both ballistic missiles and land attack cruise missiles, a refit of the Chinese Silkworm [missile]," he said.

Mr. Kay was asked about whether his team found evidence of a nuclear program. "The evidence we found in the nuclear program at most right now would suggest a very tentatively restart on the program at the very most rudimentary level," he answered. "It is the program right now we know the least amount and have the least confidence in saying what it meant, but it clearly does not look like a massive, resurgent program, based on what we discovered now."

Mr. Kay said it would take between six and nine more months to get a better understanding of the state of Iraq's weapons program.

That did not appease critics of administration policy, who noted President Bush cited Iraq's weapons of mass destruction as a primary reason for going to war.

Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia said, "I am distressed at the need for so much more time and so little found."

Mr. Kay returns to Capitol Hill Friday to discuss his team's progress with members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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