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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraq Survey Group Final Report


Importing Prohibited Commodities


Iraq under Saddam Husayn used various methods to acquire and import items prohibited under UN sanctions. Numerous Iraqi and foreign trade intermediaries disguised illicit items, hid the identity of the end user, obtained false end-user certificates, and/or changed the final destination of the commodity to get it to the region. For a cut of the profits, these trade intermediaries moved, and in many cases smuggled, the prohibited items to land, sea, and air border entry points along the Iraqi border.

  • Companies in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, UAE, and Yemen assisted Saddam with the acquisition of prohibited items through deceptive trade practices. In the case of Syria and Yemen, this included support from agencies or personnel within the government itself.
  • Numerous ministries in Saddam’s Regime facilitated the smuggling of illicit goods through Iraq’s borders, ports, and airports. The IIS and MIC, however, were directly responsible for skirting UN monitoring and importing prohibited items for Saddam.


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