Powell also responded to accusations that US military action against Iraq would be driven by a wish to control Iraq’s oil reserves, saying that the US was looking at how the oil fields would be managed, but that they would be held ‘in trust’ for the Iraqi people. ‘If we are the occupying power, [the oil fields] will be held for the benefit of the Iraqi people,’ he said.

On the same day, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff General Richard Myers told reporters that evidence existed of dissent among the Iraqi leadership, without providing any further details. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has made similar comments. President Bush warned Iraqi generals and soldiers that they would face war crimes trials if they used weapons of mass destruction against US soldiers and urged them to disobey any order to do so.