2002 October 04 Friday
Iraq, Belarus, Ukraine, and weapons tech purchases

Saddam's agents are buying tech useful for making WMD:

The Iraqi deal with Belstroyimpex was not unique. As arms inspectors and independent researchers have established in the past two years, the deal was only a small part of an intensive effort by companies and organisations linked to Iraq's Ministry of Military Industrialisation to acquire forbidden technologies and materials from Belarus and more than a dozen other countries.

It is an effort, say diplomatic sources, that continued just two months ago, when Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister for Military Industrialisation, Abdul Tawab Mulla Howeish, was in Minsk to sign a new protocol authorising scientific and technical exchanges between the two states. Indeed, as lately as 1998 - before their forced departure from Iraq - UN inspectors discovered machine tools delivered from Belarus at the Saddam Artillery Plant, where they found Iraqi technicians installing 14 new machines for manufacturing 75-millimetre lenses with a military use. The crates were marked "Republic of Belarus, Vitebsk Machine Building Plant".

The Iraqi activity in Belarus is the most worrying evidence that Iraq is still pursuing a covert procurement program. It may not be the "smoking gun" that proves that Saddam has acquired the fissile material to build his bomb, but it is evidence that he is trying hard.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 04 01:54 AM 


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