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Iraqi Nuclear Abstracts: 1996
These abstracts are excerpted from the CNS Monitoring Proliferation Threats Nuclear Abstracts Database.  The material presented here is a representative sample of the material contained in the full database.  Abstracts do not include the full text of the original source, but do include all proliferation-relevant information.  CNS has made no attempt to evaluate the veracity or accuracy of the information provided by the original sources.  Access to the CNS Databases is provided on a subscription basis. For information on how to subscribe, please contact Chris Fitz at CFitz@miis.edu.



Extra: Iraq Bought-And Still Has-Design For Advanced Urenco Gas Centrifuge

NuclearFuel, 1/22/96, pp. 1-2, by Mark Hibbs 
Sometime before 1991, a German nuclear specialist and former Urenco employee allegedly stole "the top-secret design blueprints and key components for a powerful, super-critical gas centrifuge" and sold them to Iraq. The German man has been identified as Karl-Heinz Schaab, a former technician at the Urenco affiliate MAN Technology AG [1]. According to the German federal criminal investigation agency (Bundeskrinimalamt-BKA), Schaab sold the blueprints to Iraq, for which he is being prosecuted and is expected to be charged with high treason. The TC-11 gas centrifuge, which was developed around 1980, is comprised of "seven linked composite carbon fiber rotor tube segments," producing throughput 5 times greater than that of the earlier G-2 model. According to Western officials, the TC-11, with a 1,500 m/sec optimal rotational capability, is designed to allow the linkage of gas centrifuge rotor assembly units, providing a throughput of more than 30 SWU/machine/yr. According to the IAEA, Iraq intended to develop super-critical centrifuges and locate them at the Rashdiya Engineering Design Center, which had been visited by German centrifuge specialists. One of the Rashdiya facility's buildings, originally built for a centrifuge cascade, was remodeled to house tall, super-critical centrifuge rotors and the squat, sub-critical machines that Iraq tried to produce using G-1 and G-2 designs. 

The discovery that Iraq has obtained the design for the TC-11 centrifuge indicates that Iraq has not provided a complete accounting of its nuclear capability, Western sources say. According to the IAEA, Iraq continues to hide additional documents regarding its advanced centrifuge program as well as the official copy of the Urenco design. IAEA officials are convinced that Iraq planned to use the blueprints for a nuclear weapons program to be implemented after the U.N. had lifted trade and other sanctions against Baghdad [2]. According to the IAEA, Iraqi engineers, such as those at the Al Furat centrifuge facility project, were not only trained to construct centrifuges by the German company Interatom in Bergisch-Gladbach, but were also provided with the uranium enrichment technology [3]. Having examined the Urenco blueprints that the IAEA and UNSCOM discovered after Lieutenant General Hussein Kamel deserted to Jordan in 1995, the Urenco specialists were "absolutely electrified" when they realized that Iraq had acquired a "virtually complete picture" of the centrifuge. A German government official stated: "This case is going to emerge as the most serious nuclear export violation Germany has ever had to face." 

The "budding" Iraqi centrifuge program, however, was confronted with a lack of bellows manufacturing capabilities. Iraq attempted to obtain bellows manufacturing technology and received three samples of bellows and other parts for the Urenco centrifuge from a German "consultant." 

Another report claims that in 2/91, an unnamed Swiss company shipped a German machine with applications for uranium enrichment to Iraq through Jordan and Singapore [4]. This machine, which was "designed by a German engineer working for a group comprised of British, Dutch, and German companies," [presumably Urenco] "uses special technology which was supposed to enable Iraq to implement its plans for the production of advanced carbon fibers for use in enriching uranium" [4]. The machine was allegedly delivered to Amman, Jordan in 7/91, but the Swiss government did not discover the deal until 1994 [4]. The machine has "disappeared"; an IAEA report says that "it is still not known where in Iraq the machine is hidden," and Swiss authorities say the machine is "missing" somewhere in the Middle East [4]. Iraq claims it never received the machine [4]. The deal did not violate Swiss law, and in any case no trial can be conducted due to the amount of time elapsed since the delivery [4]. 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Der Spiegel, 1/29/96, pp. 34-35, "Techniker Des Todes [Technicians Of Death]." [2] Alan George, Washington Times, 1/29/95, p. A15, "Iraq Has Blueprints To Enrich Uranium." [3] Bild (Hamburg), 2/2/96, p.2, "Nuclear Affairs: German Company Trained Saddam's Bomb Builders"; in FBIS-TAC-96-003, 2/2/96, "German Firm Trained Iraqis To Build Centrifuge Plants." [4] Alan George, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), 1/26/96, p. 2, "Iraq Accused Of Concealing German-made Machine Used In Military Nuclear Industry"; in FBIS-NES-96-018, 1/26/96, "Swiss Firm Handled Nuclear Equipment Now `Missing' in Iraq." [5] Reuter (Internet Edition), 1/25/96, "German Nuclear Expert Gave Iraq Bomb Data." 
 


Scientist Views Iraq's, Iran's Nuclear Programs

FBIS-TAC-96-002, 2/12/96  

Al-Majallah (London), 1/28/96-2/3/96, pp. 22, 24, by Ghalib Darwish 

In an interview, Iraqi nuclear scientist Hussein al Shahristani stated that Saddam Hussein changed the peaceful nature of Iraq's nuclear program when he took power in 7/79 and instructed all scientific facilities to develop nuclear weapons. Al Shahristani described how Iraq came close to enriching uranium to 93 percent with assistance from Western companies. During the 1980s, Iraq established 15 "major nuclear installations" capable of enriching uranium through centrifuge, electromagnetic separation (EMIS), and laser techniques. Western companies helped the Iraqi military develop complex detonation devices crucial to the successful explosion of a nuclear weapon. Al Shahristani believes the scientists who worked on the Iraqi nuclear weapons program are, for the most part, still in Iraq. As for Iran, al Shahristani maintains that "new international conditions" and Iran's present economic situation render a nuclear weapons program unfeasible. The current Iranian nuclear program lacks "scientific expertise, equipment, and nuclear installations," al Shahristani said. 
 


Matrix Churchill Helped Iraq With Nuclear Capability

Financial Times, 2/13/96, pp. 1, 16, by John Plender and Tim Laxton 
On 2/12/96, the IAEA reported that the machine tool company Matrix Churchill was one of more than 12 western companies helping the Iraqi nuclear program before the Gulf War [1]. Matrix Churchill, owned by Iraq's TMG Engineering, supplied components for Iraq's gas centrifuge uranium enrichment program from 11/88-4/90 and "knowingly deceived" the U.K. government about exports of equipment designed for the Iraqi military. Iraq claimed that the components were for a compressor. According to former Matrix Churchill Managing Director Paul Henderson, a shipment sent to Iraq shortly after the 4/90 Supergun scandal left the U.K. without Henderson's permission. A Customs and Excise case against Matrix Churchill revealed that the U.K. government "implicitly encouraged" dual-use exports to Iraq, believing that Matrix Churchill was a valuable source of information on Iraq's weapons programs. However, Matrix Churchill deceived the Department of Trade and Industry by failing to reveal that the end-user of lathes exported to Iraq was an arms factory producing 155 mm artillery shells. 

Supporting Source: 

[1] Caroline Drees, Reuter, 2/13/96; in Executive News Service, 2/13/96, "U.K. Firm Not Alone In Supplying Iraq's Nuclear Bid." 
 


Iraqi Defectors Returns To Baghdad With Pardons

Washington Times, 2/21/96, pp. A1, A22, by Ben Barber and Bill Gertz 
On 2/20/96, Saddam Hussein's sons-in-law Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel and Saddam Kamel were "pardoned" as they crossed the border returning to Iraq. On 8/8/95, the two brothers had defected to Jordan, raising the West's expectations about "an intelligence bonanza" [1]. Their return to Iraq, however, has made Western intelligence officials question the validity of information the brothers provided on the Iraqi nuclear weapons program. Some officials are convinced that Kamel's return proved that the defection was a hoax. According to Kuwait's ambassador to the U.N. Mohammed A. Abulhasan, "Kamel's desire to return to Iraq proves what we knew all along, that the defection was a sham." In Abulhasan's opinion, the Iraqis sought to "inflate the importance" of data submitted to the U.N. by Kamel's desertion to Jordan. U.S. officials, though, attribute the Kamel brothers' return to their "frustration" about being exiled by Iraq. Despite Gen. Kamel's initial praise as a patriot by Jordan's King Hussein, Iraqi opposition groups failed to support Kamel [2]. According to one U.S. official, "[Kamel] was a genuine defector," who supplied a significant amount of data on Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and missiles. 

On 2/20/96, chairman of the U.N. commission Rolf Ekeus reported that the information supplied by Kamel was confirmed by U.N. investigators, although it was incomplete. According to the U.S. intelligence official, Kamel concealed some of the information that he possessed about Iraq's military program. 

On 2/23/96, the Iraqi government reported that Kamel and his brother were murdered at their Baghdad residence by their relatives [3]. More "clashes" followed in Tikrit in connection with Kamel's return [4]. According to other sources, the special security force led by Saddam Hussein's youngest son Qusayy Hussein continued arresting members of the Albu-Ghaffar family, to which Gen. Kamel belonged [4]. 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Amy Dockser Marcus, Wall Street Journal, 2/23/96, p. A6, "Iraqi Defector Returns With His Secrets." [2] Washington Post, 2/20/96, p. A3, "General Who Defected Wants To Return To Iraq." [3] Douglas Jehl, New York Times, 2/24/96, pp. A1, A5, "2 Iraqi Defectors Slain On Return." [4] Al-Hayah (London), 2/28/96, pp. 1, 6; in FBIS-NES-96-041, 2/28/96, "Iraq: Paper Says Clashes In Tikrit `Confirmed'." [5] Douglas Jehl, New York Times, 2/21/96, pp. A1, A5, "Iraqi Defector Goes Home Again With A Father-in-Law's Blessing." 
 


The Iraqi And South African Nuclear Weapon Programs

Security Dialogue, 3/96, pp. 27-38, by Robert Kelley 
Iraqi's first attempt to acquire nuclear weapons is associated with the acquisition of the Osirak reactor, which was destroyed by Israel in 1980. The loss of the Osirak reactor caused Iraq to undertake a gaseous diffusion enrichment program. However, the complexity of gaseous diffusion technology forced Iraq to unsuccessfully attempt to enrich uranium by electromagnetic isotope separation (EMIS). In 1991, an IAEA inspection under the leadership of the U.S. official David Kay discovered top secret documents proving Iraq's intention to build a 20 kT implosion bomb. The Iraqi documents contained a "complete" list of the necessary items for a new nuclear weapons program. An investigation of the documents suggested that Iraq was primarily concerned with experimental techniques, rather than "being deeply into the design process." It is likely that Iraq planned to use the Al Atheer Materials Science Center to fabricate uranium fuel pellets for use in a future nuclear reactor. The main facilities for high explosives testing, processing nuclear materials, and general metallurgy and chemistry were expected to be installed at Al Atheer. Using small- scale batch furnaces, Iraq increased the production of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) from several grams to a kilogram at a time, which "would have been more than adequate for their declared activities in gaseous diffusion and gas centrifuge research." Iraq's UF6 production indicated that the centrifuge program was conducted separately from the "direct" attempts to acquire nuclear weapons. The author suggests that Iraq's failure to acquire nuclear weapon was caused by "a lack of focus, poor program management, parallel paths, internal bickering, and too much money." 

In contrast, South Africa succeeded in developing a "unique" aerodynamic separation program, which allowed the country to produce "hundreds of kilograms" of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) during the 1980s. South Africa constructed a civilian nuclear power facility, part of which was converted for producing nuclear weapons. Commenting on its nuclear program, a South African official said that "we did it because we could." The South African Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) succeeded in developing a crude gun-type nuclear device, which could have been tested at a shaft in the Kalahari. In 1979, South Africa developed its first nuclear bomb at a nuclear weapons plant built by Armscor approximately 10 km from Pelindaba. As soon as the bomb was ready, Armscor took over the project, leaving the AEC to act solely as a supplier. By 1990, South Africa developed six nuclear weapons, but efforts to create an implosion weapon failed. Many specialists think that South Africa gave "logistical support" to an Israeli nuclear test in the South Atlantic. 

Networks of secret suppliers and export controls played a significant role in the development of South Africa's and Iraq's nuclear programs. Since South Africa was mainly focused on a "very low-technology approach," its nuclear weapons program did not require a lot of technical support. The Iraqi nuclear program, on the other hand, was supported by the Military Industrial Corporation headed by Hussein Kamel, which had connections with the U.K. companies TDG and Matrix Churchill. 
 


U.N. Reports Arms Disputes With Iraq In Last 10 Days

Executive News Service, 3/18/96  

Reuter, 3/18/96, by Evelyn Leopold 

On 3/8/96-3/18/96, Iraq obstructed U.N. weapons inspection teams five times in "a pattern of violation on access to sites suspected of containing arms materials." UNSCOM head Rolf Ekeus stated, "We are very concerned that these incidents could form part of a pattern. They also demonstrate something odd and disturbing: that five years after the cease-fire Iraq still considers it of value to keep alive the option of weapons of mass destruction" [1]. On 3/8/96, 43 U.N. inspectors were blocked by Iraqi officials from entering Baghdad's Irrigation Ministry for 18 hours. Ekeus directed U.N. teams to guard the entrances to prevent the removal of documents [2]. During the delay, the U.N. inspectors observed smoke from an incinerator [3]. Ekeus reported that U.N. inspectors found only neighborhood grass clippings in the ministry's burning incinerator, but U.N. officials feared that documents had been burned during the delay [2]. 

On 3/11/96, Iraq delayed an UNSCOM team from inspecting a Presidential Guard training center in Sarabady for 12 hours [3]. According to an Iraqi official in New York, the 12-hour delay occurred as a result of an Iraqi dispute on the "modalities" of the inspection and on "what to touch and what not to touch because of the security nature of the site" [4]. U.N. inspectors failed to find any hardware usable in weapons development. 

On 3/14/96, two incidents took place at sites affiliated with the Republican Guards, resulting in delays of nearly three hours. In the first case, the delay took place at a Republican Guards auto repair facility, where Iraqi officials also opposed UNSCOM surveillance helicopters taking pictures of the site. In the second case, Iraq blocked the entrance to the headquarters of the Special Guards, although helicopters were allowed to examine this location. 

On 3/15/96, UNSCOM inspectors were blocked from inspecting a Republican Guards command center for four hours. The dispute was resolved after Ekeus warned that the U.N. inspectors would be removed if the site remained blocked. U.N. inspections found no evidence of an Iraqi weapons program. However, UNSCOM Deputy Chief Charles Duelfer doubted the "purity of the site" [3]. 

On 3/12/96, after an hour delay, UNSCOM inspectors entered the al-Bakr University for Higher Military Studies. According to U.N. officials, however, the delay was not considered detrimental to the inspection [2]. 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Ian Black, Guardian, 3/13/96, "UN Monitor Says Iraqi Arms Checks Will Continue." [2] Anne Penketh, AFP (Paris), 3/9/96; in FBIS-NES-96-048, 3/9/96, "Iraq: Government Refuses To Allow UN Commission Into Building." [3] Reuter, 3/13/96; in Executive News Service, 3/14/96, "UN Says Incinerator Smoking During Iraqi Standoff." [4] Catherine Toups, Washington Times, 3/12/96, p. A13, "Iraq Lets U.N. Inspect Army Site." [5] John M. Goshko, Washington Post, 3/12/96, p. A9, "U.N. Inspectors Enter Iraq Military Installation After 11-Hour Standoff." [6] New York Times, 3/12/96, p. A4, "U.N. And Baghdad Scale A 3d Diplomatic Hurdle." [7] Financial Times, 3/12/96, p. 5, "Iraq Blocks UN Inspectors." [8] David Usborne, Independent, 3/12/96, "UN Under Pressure To Continue Iraq Embargo." 
 


U.N. Approves Monitoring Of Iraq

Washington Post, 3/28/96, p. A28  

Reuter 

On 3/27/96, the U.N. Security Council agreed to a monitoring system to prevent Iraq from obtaining weapons of mass destruction (WMD) after sanctions imposed on Iraq are lifted. The monitoring system is designed to detect any import of dual-use items by Iraq, and will send that information to UNSCOM and the IAEA Director General. According to UNSCOM, "The mechanism adopted relies on notifications both by Iraq and the supplier states of planned supplies of dual-use items to Iraq and on inspection of those items in Iraq and monitoring at the end-user site" [1]. In order to prevent Iraq from reacquiring WMD, the U.N. will organize "U2 surveillance flights, closed circuit television cameras and teams of specialist inspectors," UNSCOM head Rolf Ekeus said [2]. The implementation of the monitoring system, however, does not signify an imminent lifting of sanctions. The monitoring system could be enforced for up to 20 years [2]. 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] OTC, 3/27/96; in Executive News Service, 3/27/96, "U.N. Brings Into Force Monitoring Mechanism On Iraq." [2] Michael Dynes, Times (London), 3/14/96, "U.N. Warning Of 20-Years Arms Watch On Iraq." [3] Anthony Goodman, Reuter, 3/27/96; in Executive News Service, 3/22/96, "U.N. Sets Plan To Monitor Iraqi Post-Sanctions Imports." 
 


Iraq Unlikely To Stop Resisting Inspections

Washington Times, 6/18/96, p. A9  

Reuter, 6/18/96, by Leon Barkho 

On 6/16/96, after a five day standoff with Iraqi officials, UNSCOM Chairman Rolf Ekeus withdrew a 53-member U.N. arms inspection team from Baghdad, Iraq. Ekeus believes that during the standoff, "any vital" documents were removed from the five facilities that UNSCOM inspectors were barred from entering. Iraq argued that UNSCOM had "deliberately" picked facilities vital to Iraq's national security, justifying Iraq's refusal to allow the U.N. inspection [1]. Baghdad officials claimed that Iraq "has nothing left to hide," and, according to the ruling Ba'ath Party's newspaper al-Thawra, "Iraq is keen to put a decisive end to inspection activities by UNSCOM which both the Americans and the British want to turn into an endless story to prolong the embargo." Iraq called for new "inspection procedures" in order to safeguard Iraq's national security. The U.N. Security Council, while denying the Iraqi request, declared that Iraq's barring of the inspections was a "flagrant violation" of the Persian Gulf war cease-fire agreement and demanded that Iraq provide the U.N. with "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access" [2]. According to UNSCOM Deputy Charles Duelfer, "The denial of access does not bode well for monitoring in [sic] future if Iraq is now going to take a new position-to deny categories of sites to our inspectors. That's a problem" [3]. On 6/13/96, the U.S. and the U.K. said that Iraq's refusal was a "material breach" of the cease- fire agreement, resulting in "the legal foundation for military action" [2]. However, Russia, France, and China did not approve the proposal [2]. On 6/14/96, as part of a call for new procedures, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz suggested that three UNSCOM members led by Ekeus, and three Iraqi officials led by Aziz, should conduct inspections of any disputed Iraqi facility [3]. However, Aziz's statement that Iraq will also permit "surprise inspections" confused Western officials [4]. 

On 6/19/96, Ekeus will visit Baghdad to insure "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to all areas, facilities equipment, records and means of transportation" previously denied to his team [3]. 

Iraq's refusal to admit UNSCOM inspection will not alter a $2 billion oil- for-food agreement between the U.N. and Iraq [2]. However, the standoff is likely to result in delaying the lifting of sanctions against Iraq [2]. 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Reuter, 6/17/96; in Executive News Service, 6/18/96, "Iraq Must Let In U.N. Inspectors-Christopher." [2] Louis Meixler, Washington Times, 6/15/96, p. A6, "U.N. Nixes Inspection Proposal." [3] Evelyn Leopold, Reuters, 6/17/96; in Executive News Service, 6/17/96, "U.N. Official Suspects Iraq Removed Arms Materials." [4] International Herald Tribune, 6/15/96-6/16/96, p. 4, "Iraq Proposes A Plan To End Arms Impasse." [5] Barbara Crossette, New York Times, 6/13/96, p. A8, "Iraq Probably Hiding Arms, Chief U.N. Inspector Says." [6] Anthony Goodman, Reuter, 6/11/96; in Executive News Service, 6/12/96, "U.N. Irked By Iraqi Barring Of Weapons Inspectors." [7] Reuter, 6/11/96; in Executive News Service, 6/12/96, "New Iraq Row Said To Ensure Sanctions Stay." [8] Leon Barkho, Reuter, 6/16/96; in Executive News Service, 6/16/96, "U.N. Inspectors Leave, Standoff With Iraq Remains." 
 


U.N. Secures Iraq's Pledge To Allow Weapons Experts Access

United States Information Agency Server, 6/24/96, by Judy Aita 
During a 6/19/96-6/22/96 visit to Baghdad by UNSCOM Chairman Rolf Ekeus, Iraq and Ekeus signed an agreement that assures UNSCOM weapons inspectors "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to all sites which the Commission or the IAEA may wish to inspect." Ekeus said, "We will be obliged to do (unannounced inspections), because on substance nothing has happened during this mission. Iraq is still, according to our analysis, concealing some important components and weapons and also concealing important documents related to expanding their program." Iraq is known to have concealed documents in "exotic or remote facilities or sensitive facilities," and by using mobile storage units. 

By the end of 6/96, Iraq is expected to make a "full, final, and complete" accounting of its nuclear weapons program. 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] S.V. Venkatraman, AFP (Paris), 6/24/96; in FBIS-NES-96-123, 6/24/96, "Iraq: UN's Ekeus Claims `Breakthrough' In Uncovering Arms Program." [2] INA (Baghdad), 6/24/96; in FBIS-NES-96-123, 6/24/96, "Iraq, Special Commission Reach Agreement On Inspection." [3] Washington Times, 6/25/96, p. A15, "U.N.'s Inspector Wary Of Iraqis." [4] John M. Goshko, Washington Post, 6/25/96, p. A15, "U.N. Official Asserts Iraq Still Hiding Banned Arms." 
 


Iraq And United Nations Clash Again On Arms Probe

Executive News Service, 8/26/96  

Reuter, 8/22/96, by Evelyn Leopold 

On 8/16/96, Iraq barred UNSCOM inspectors from a "suspected" weapons storage facility that was the site of a similar confrontation in 7/96. While the UNSCOM team was denied access to the facility for two hours, Iraqi oil minister Lt. Gen. Muhammed Rasheed, escorting the U.N. inspectors, was permitted to enter the facility. According to UNSCOM head Rolf Ekeus, Iraq hid prohibited items prior to the team's delayed inspection. 
 


U.N. Team Investigating Iraq Are Ordered To Stay In Baghdad

New York Times, 9/5/96, p. A6, by Barbara Crossette 
UNSCOM's monitoring of Iraqi facilities outside of Baghdad by aircraft and ground inspections have been canceled due to Iraqi threats that it will shoot down US aircraft. UNSCOM head Rolf Ekeus warned that since "Iraq has had an active policy of concealment," it could use UNSCOM's inability to monitor prohibited activities from the air to relocate banned equipment and documents. The threats were made in response to the US extending a no- flight zone to include areas near Baghdad. 

Supporting Documents: 

[1] Evelyn Leopold, Reuter, 9/4/96; in Executive News Service, 9/5/96, "UN Arms Inspectors In Iraq Put Flights On Hold." [2] Anthony Goodman, Reuter, 9/3/96; in Executive News Service, 9/5/96, "U.N. Says Iraq Concealing Clandestine Weapons." 
 


"Ich Bin Nur Techniker" [I Am Only An Engineer]

Der Spiegel, 9/16/96, pp. 29-33 
German technician Karl-Heinz Schaab, accused of contributing to Iraq's nuclear weapons program, has been in hiding since 1/96, attempting to avoid prosecution by Germany's Federal Public Prosecutor. Schaab allegedly supplied Iraq with classified centrifuge technology used for enriching uranium. In addition to the German government accusations, the UN said Schaab is a principal supplier to Iraq's nuclear weapons program. 

Iraq's engineers tested several uranium enrichment processes, and according to UN specialists, gas centrifuge technology seemed the most promising. A report prepared by a customs authority unit of the Hesse state government says that according to UNSCOM, the know-how and materials for Iraq's gas centrifuge program are almost exclusively of German origin. In addition, most production equipment for centrifuge parts and other supplies can be traced to Germany. 

In 12/95, the 500-page report on German firms suspected to be involved in the deals was released.

IAEA Recovers Gear In Jordan Sold To Iraq By German Fugitive

Nucleonics Week, 9/19/96, pp. 1, 11-12, by Mark Hibbs 
The IAEA has confiscated an Iraqi carbon-fiber-filament winding machine, usable to produce gas centrifuges, in Jordan. The equipment was allegedly built for Iraq's uranium enrichment program by Karl-Heinz Schaab, a former employee of German's MAN Technology AG. Schaab arranged to send the German equipment to Iraq through a Swiss company and a middleman in Singapore, and then to Jordan. Although Iraq was the intended final destination, the delivery to Baghdad was hindered by the 1990-91 Gulf War and subsequent UN inspections. Iraq allegedly ordered Jordan to "dispose of" the machine as well as other related components. On 9/16/96, German officials said the IAEA had confirmed in 1995 that Jordan kept a carbon- fiber-filament winding machine built by Schaab for Iraq. 

Sources say that Schaab is known to have built at his German company another winding machine, which was programmed to wind about 50 carbon-fiber rotor tubes. The tubes were sold to Iraq around 1989. The German machine was later sold to an Austrian company. 

According to unnamed sources, Schaab built the winding machine at his consulting firm, Rosch GmbH in Kaufbeuren, Germany, using electronic control equipment built by Siemens. According to IAEA officials, it is unclear if the machine was intended for use in the production of centrifuge rotors. 

Besides the winding machine, the IAEA also discovered auxiliary equipment such as O-rings and uranium hexafluoride (UF6) resistant valves in Jordan, that were produced by the Swiss company Cetec. According to "Western officials," the centrifuge equipment's seizure raised suspicion that, prior to the 1990-91 Gulf War, Iraq may have diverted to Jordan even more of its nuclear technology than has been tracked by the IAEA. An unnamed US arms control official said: "We're worried they may have an entire centrifuge manufacturing set-up outside Iraq." 
 


IAEA Says Iraq Still Likely Hiding Nuclear Data

Executive News Service, 11/7/96  

Reuter, 11/7/96, by Anthony Goodman 

On 11/7/96, IAEA Director General Hans Blix said that Iraq may still be hiding documents concerning its secret nuclear weapons program. During a meeting with the UN Security Council, Blix said that "while recognizing that a very extensive documentation of the Iraqi nuclear programme has been assembled... can we be sure that nothing further is withheld? The answer is no." Blix added that "it is probable that significant documentation is concealed and withheld. Some material and equipment could also be hidden and components of equipment could be moved around, escaping even very thorough and rigorous monitoring." Iraq has submitted 1,400 pages of documents to the IAEA which Iraq called "...the final version of a complete declaration of nuclear materials and nuclear activities."[1] 

Blix noted that there is no evidence Iraq has retained any nuclear weapons production capability.[1] Blix said that "we see no evidence of any remaining nuclear weapons production capacity--with the exception of one important element: knowledge and know-how, which are indestructible." According to Blix, the IAEA believes it has "either destroyed or rendered harmless or done away with the infrastructure to produce nuclear weapons."[1] 

Supporting Sources: [1] UPI, 11/7/96; in Executive News Service, 11/7/96, "Iraq Gives Final Nuclear Documents." 
 


Swiss Company Investigated In Iraq A-Bomb Affair

The Middle East, 12/96, p. 21, by Alan George 
The IAEA will ask Swiss authorities to investigate whether the Swiss engineering company CETEC AG attempted to ship about 300 valves for uranium enrichment centrifuges as well as cascade components from Switzerland to Iraq via Singapore and Jordan. In 9/96, the equipment, worth over 200,000, was seized in Jordan where it had been stored in a warehouse since 1991. According to documents handed over to the IAEA by Iraq in 8/95, CETEC offered to supply the equipment to Iraq on 9/25/90, two months after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the UN-imposed trade embargo. The offer was made to a company in Singapore, which then proceeded to prepare packing lists for an Iraqi front company in Jordan. 

The signature of CETEC's head Friedrich Tinner is "reliably understood" to appear on documents related to the equipment seized in Jordan. When confronted with proof linking him to the shipments, Tinner acknowledged that the shipment was made, but stated that "I did not know the final destination." 

This is the second time that the IAEA has asked Swiss authorities to investigate a case involving Tinner. In 2/90, Tinner reportedly offered several thousand tubes of aluminum alloy piping to Iraq, but later claimed that the shipment was never made. Tinner was cleared of those charges in 1992 following an investigation by Swiss authorities. 

Supporting Sources: 

[1] Alan George, Jane's Intelligence Review And Jane's Sentinel Pointer, 1/97, p. 5, "Investigation Into A-Bomb Affair." 
 


 

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