5,707. 3/21/2004

Iraq Survey Group leader Charles Duelfer posed written questions to Saddam’s secretary Abed Hamid Mahmud on March 21, 2004. Mahmud responded, saying: ” ‘Saddam Hussein desired for Iraq to possess WMD, nuclear, biological, and chemical, because he always said that he desired for balance in the Middle East region and there are countries in the region that possessed such weapons (Israel) and countries on their way to possessing these weapons, like Iran.’ …In another comment, Abed quoted Saddam as instructing Aziz to ‘tell the scientists to preserve the plans in their minds and that there must be a day in which we will get out from under the siege [sanctions] and we will continue the activity in manufacturing of weapons and we will achieve the international balance and protect the dignity of Iraq and Iraqis and the Arab Nation.’ He also wrote, ‘If the sanctions are lifted and there is no UN monitoring, then it is possible for Saddam Hussein to continue his WMD activity and in my estimation it would be done in total secrecy and concealment because he has learned from 1991 and the UN decisions.’ ”

 – Charles Duelfer, Hide and Seek, Pages 377-378

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