Nuclear/chemical: Declassified

These files highlight UK plans to use nuclear weapons in the Middle East, help given to Iran and Israel to acquire chemical weapons and the Prime Minister’s exclusion of Cabinet to procure Trident, among other policies



‘UK civil servants reassure US that Trident will be replaced, whatever Brown may say’ (US Embassy, UK, 24 July 2009)

‘Brown’s Trident announcement “caught Whitehall by surprise”’ (US embassy, UK, 24 September 2009)

‘Thatcher meeting with Gorbachev 1984’ (National Archives)

‘British Documents Confirm UK Alerted US to Danger of Able Archer 83’ (National Security Archive, 4 November 2013)

‘U.S. and British Combined to Delay Pakistani Nuclear Weapons Program in 1978-1981’ (19 documents, National Security Archive)

‘Secret Understandings on the Use of Nuclear Weapons, 1950-1974’ (National Security Archive)

Brief for the Chief of the Defence Staff, ‘Likely scale and nature of attacks on UK’, 1964 (click here)

‘Cuba: Threat posed by Soviet Missiles’ (Cabinet, 1962)

Cabinet Office, Unilateral nuclear disarmament, 1960

Chiefs of Staff Committee, Joint Planning Staff, ‘The effect of nuclear sufficiency: Report by the Joint Planning Staff’, 1958 (click here)

Chiefs of Staff Committee, Joint Planning Staff, ‘Role of the colonial territories in peace and war: report by the Joint Planning Staff’, 1958 (click here)

US/British plans to use nuclear weapons in the Middle East (National Security Archive, 2016)

‘Some Key Documents on Nuclear Policy Issues’, 1952/1957 (Documents 4/6, National Security Archive)



‘Documents confirm soldiers were exposed to nuclear tests in Australia’ (WSWS, 9 July 2011)

China/Hong Kong

UK pondered China nuclear attack‘ (BBC, 30 June 2006)

Christmas Island

’Radiation revelation’ [Christmas Island] (New Scientist, 4 June 2001)


‘British agents helped Iran to make killer gas’ (Guardian, 13 June 1999)


‘Thatcher govt didn’t oppose Saddam’s chemical weapons program, declassified papers show’ (RT, 3 July 2015)


‘Documents detailing UK’s involvement in Israel’s alleged nuclear arsenal vanish’ (Jerusalem Post, 5 August 2016)

‘Files linking Britain to Israel’s nuclear weapons go missing from National Archives’ (RT, 3 August 2016)

‘Britain’s dirty secret’ (New Statesman, 13 March 2006)

‘Archive: Britain sold Israel nuclear ingredient’ (Associated Press, 5 August 2005)

‘Papers reveal British aid for Israeli nukes’ (Washington Times, 4 August 2005)

‘How Britain helped Israel get the bomb’ (BBC, 3 August 2005)

‘How Britain Secretly Helped Israel Build Its Nuclear Arsenal’ (Information Clearing House, undated)

‘The U.S. Discovery of Israel’s Secret Nuclear Project’ (UK-related files. National Security Archive)


‘U.S. and British Combined to Delay Pakistani Nuclear Weapons Program in 1978-1981, Declassified Documents Show’ (Wilson Centre, 25 July 2011)


What has Wikileaks revealed about the Blair and Brown governments‘ (Defend Wikileaks, 2019)

‘Thatcher went behind cabinet’s back with Trident purchase’ (Guardian 30 December 2011)

‘WikiLeaks cables: Whitehall told US to ignore Brown’s Trident statement’ (Guardian, 8 December 2010)

‘Clegg right to scrap Trident II, says Owen’ (BBC Newsnight, 21 April 2010)

World War Two

‘Britain backed use of A-bomb against Japan: U.S. documents’ (Japan Times, 4 August 2013)


‘Revealed: Thatcher aide wanted to use Prince William to hobble CND’ (Guardian, 21 July 2016)

‘The Top-Secret Cold War Plan to Keep Soviet Hands Off Middle Eastern Oil’ (Politico, 23 June 2016)

‘Britain Considered Nuking Middle East Oil Fields if USSR Invaded, Documents Show’ (National Security Archive, 23 June 2016)

‘Why The Key Able Archer 83 Report Should Be Released Under UK FOIA’ (National Security Archive, 18 November 2015)

How the British Government subjected thousands of people to chemical and biological warfare trials during Cold War‘ (Independent, 9 July 2015)

‘Thatcher considered UK chemical weapons programme, documents show’ (Guardian, 30 December 2014)

‘First Page of Paramount Able Archer 83 Report Declassified by British Archive’ (National Security Archive, 27 October 2014)

UK government’s secret list of “probable nuclear targets” in 1970s released’ (Guardian, 5 June 2014)

‘How a Nato war game took the world to brink of nuclear disaster’ (Guardian, 2 November 2013)

‘The world war three files’ (Daily Mail, 25 February 2012)

‘Underground testing of nuclear warheads was kept secret from cabinet’ (Guardian, 28 December 2007)

‘How Benn encouraged sale of nuclear reactors to the Middle East’ (Guardian, 28 December 2007)

‘Winston Churchill threatened to quit over bomb’ (Telegraph, 1 November 2007)

‘Britain Kept Secret Nuclear Weapons In Singapore & Cyprus’ (Sunday Times, 31 December 2000)