Iraq: the countdown to a new crisis
May 1991: Three months after Iraq's defeat in the Gulf War, UNSCOM begins inspections, uncovering and destroying components of Iraq's nuclear weapons programme.
January 1993: Allied air-strikes after alleged Iraqi ceasefire violations.
August 1995: Saddam's son-in-law, Lieut-Gen Hussein Kamal, defects with details of Iraq's biological weapons programme.
June 1996: UNSCOM blows up biological weapons plant at Al Hakam.
June 1996: Iraq admits manufacturing 3.9 tons of VX nerve agent.
September 1996: US fires Cruise missiles to enforce no-fly zone.
October 1997: Saddam orders out US members of UNSCOM team. Russians defuse crisis.
January 1998: Iraq bans inspections in presidential palaces. Huge British and US military build-up. UN negotiates deal.
February 1998: UN determines Iraq had capability of manufacturing up to 200 tons of VX.
April 1998: UN panel of experts from 13 countries concludes that Iraq has concealed information. UN Security Council decides to keep economic sanctions in place.
June 1998: US tests find traces of VX gas on Scud missile fragments.
July 1998: Talks break down in Baghdad on UNSCOM's proposals for an accelerated schedule of inspections before the next six-monthly review of sanctions.
August 1998: UN teams leaves Baghdad after Saddam blocks inspections.