Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

CIA Warned Us Uranium Claim Was Not Credible, Says Straw

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

CIA Warned Us Uranium Claim Was Not Credible, Says Straw

Article excerpt

Byline: JOE MURPHY

JACK STRAW today admitted that the Government published its claim that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium from Africa despite the US warning that it did not believe it.

The Foreign Secretary revealed that the CIA dismissed the allegation as "not credible" last summer.

Critically, the warning from the CIA was received before Tony Blair issued his dossier on Saddam's suspected arms programmes last September - yet the claim was not removed from the document.

The dramatic disclosure will add to criticism of the dossier, following closely on the row over whether it was "sexed up" with claims that Saddam had chemical weapons on 45-minute standby.

A claim that Saddam was seeking supplies of uranium from Niger was used to suggest he was coming closer to obtaining the ingredients of a nuclear bomb.

"Just before the dossier was finalised, the CIA offered a comment noting that they did not regard the reference to the supply of uranium from Africa as credible," Mr Straw admitted. …

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