|UK Not Aware of Forged Documents on Niger Documents|
UK Not Aware of Forged Documents on Niger Documents
UK Government not aware of forged documents on Niger Uranium prior to release of Iraq Dossier. Source: FCO, London, June 29, 2003.
Commenting on allegations in the Independent on Sunday that British Ministers knew that documents revealing attempts by Iraq to procure uranium from Niger were forgeries, a Foreign Office spokesman said:
'The statement in the September 2002 dossier that Iraq had sought to obtain uranium from an African country was not based on forged documents. It was based on other intelligence, from more than one source. The Government was unaware of the existence of the documents obtained by the IAEA until early 2003 - five months after the publication of the September dossier.
'We are aware of reports that a US envoy was sent to Niger in March 2002 to investigate suspicions of involvement with Iraq's nuclear programme. We understand that he reported the denials of the government of Niger that it was helping Iraq to procure uranium. This visit took place before the intelligence was received on which our dossier was based.
'As we have repeatedly said, any forged documents passed to the IAEA about Niger uranium did not pass through the hands of any British officials.'