UN Inspectors Uncover Saddam Nuclear Bomb Plans
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UN INSPECTORS UNCOVER PROOF OF SADDAM'S NUCLEAR BOMB PLANS
By Con Coughlin
January 19, 2003
United Nations weapons inspectors have uncovered evidence that proves Saddam
Hussein is trying to develop an arsenal of nuclear weapons, The Telegraph
can reveal. The discovery was made following spot checks last week on the
homes of two Iraqi nuclear physicists in Baghdad.
Acting on information provided by Western intelligence, the UN inspection
teams discovered a number of documents proving that Saddam is continuing
with his attempts to develop nuclear weapons, contrary to his public
declarations that Iraq is no longer interested in producing weapons of mass
The revelation follows last Thursday's discovery of a number of warheads at
an ammunition storage facility south of Baghdad that had been designed for
carrying chemical and biological weapons.
Although UN officials say that they have no comment to make at present on
the documents found at the scientists' homes, a Western diplomat closely
involved with the investigation into Saddam's nuclear capability yesterday
confirmed that the documents showed that Iraq was still attempting to
develop its own atomic weapons.
"These are not old documents. They are new and they relate to on-going work
taking place in Iraq to develop nuclear weapons," the official told The
"They had been hidden at the scientists' homes on Saddam's personal orders.
Furthermore, no mention of this work is made in the Iraqi dossier that was
submitted to the UN last December."
UN nuclear experts are this weekend continuing to examine the seized
documents. Officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna
have also been informed of the discovery.
The revelation that Saddam is working on nuclear weapons in defiance of the
United Nations is further evidence that Iraq is failing to comply with the
terms of UN Resolution 1441, which requires Baghdad to make a complete
disclosure of its weapons of mass destruction programme.
A false or incomplete disclosure or a failure fully to co-operate with the
inspectors would constitute a material breach of the resolution and result
in military action against Baghdad.
Although Dr Hans Blix, the head of the UN inspections teams, was made aware
of the discovery last week, he failed to mention it during talks with Tony
Blair, the Prime Minister, and Jacques Chirac the French president.
British officials are particularly concerned that Mr Blix appears to be
playing down the significance of last week's breakthroughs.
He indicated that he did not feel the discovery of the chemical warheads was
an issue that needed to be reported to the Security Council.
The inspectors' discoveries follow a radical improvement in relations
between UN officials and Western intelligence which had been reluctant to
hand over sensitive information for fear that it might fall into the hands
of Iraqi officials, thereby risking the lives of agents working in Iraq.
In particular intelligence officials were keen that a team of UN inspectors
visit the homes of two Iraqi nuclear scientists living in the outskirts of
This followed information from high ranking officials at Iraq's Ministry of
Military Industrialisation (MIO) that suggested Saddam had ordered that top
secret nuclear documents should be hidden at the homes of scientists working
on the project.
As one inspection team discovered the empty chemical warheads, nuclear
weapons experts were cordoning off the street where two scientists lived in
Baghdad's al-Ghazalia neighbourhood.
They searched the homes of Faleh Hassan, a specialist in laser equipment,
and Dr Shaker alJibouri, a nuclear scientist. Inspectors also accompanied
the scientists to sites known to have been used for nuclear research.
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