Quayle leaves open any weapon's use, including nuclear WAR IN THE GULF

February 02, 1991|By Gilbert A. Lewthwaite | Gilbert A. Lewthwaite,London Bureau of The Sun

LONDON -- Vice President Dan Quayle refused yesterday to rule out U.S. use of nuclear weapons in the gulf war, and said he anticipated that the Iraqis would fire chemical weapons.

"Our policy is very clear, and that is we simply don't rule options in and out," Mr. Quayle said in a BBC interview before flying to Washington after a series of meetings with British leaders.

Mr. Quayle made it clear that the United States would continue to rely on conventional weapons against Iraq, saying, "We're making great inroads deploying our conventional weapons, but we're simply not going to rule out any options."

Prime Minister John Major is on record as rejecting the use of nuclear weapons by British forces. He noted that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, signed by both the United States and Britain, prohibits their use against non-nuclear powers.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein recently claimed that his Scud missiles had nuclear, biological and chemical capability. Allied commanders are not convinced he has developed any form of nuclear weapon, or the ability to deliver biological or chemical weapons by Scud.

He is known to have chemical shells and bombs, and Mr. Quayle said he anticipated that "at some time, at his choosing, he will unfortunately use chemical weapons."

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