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Iraq weapons inspections: here's what experts learned about their effectiveness in three decades

By Henrietta Wilson, Researcher, SOAS, University of London
Dan Plesch, Professor and Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS, University of London
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After the end of the first Gulf War in April 1991, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) set up processes to oversee the elimination of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Over the next decade, weapons inspectors demonstrated that – while difficult – internationally verified disarmament is technically possible.

The ceasefire agreement, UNSC Resolution 687, stipulated that Iraq must declare and destroy its chemical and biological weapons and related programmes, as well as missiles with a range of more…

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