Saddam, the Bomb and Me

(New York Times) Mahdi Obeidi - As the head of Saddam Hussein's nuclear centrifuge program, I know that Iraq's nuclear weapons program was on the threshold of success before the 1991 invasion of Kuwait - there is no doubt in my mind that we could have produced dozens of nuclear weapons within a few years - but it was stopped in its tracks by UN weapons inspectors after the Persian Gulf war. Our nuclear program could have been reinstituted at the snap of Saddam Hussein's fingers. Iraqi scientists had the knowledge and the designs needed to jumpstart the program if necessary. And there is no question that we could have done so very quickly. In the late 1980s, we put together the most efficient covert nuclear program the world has ever seen in about three years. Had Saddam Hussein ordered it and the world looked the other way, we might have shaved months if not years off our previous efforts. Hundreds of my former staff members and fellow scientists possess knowledge that could be useful to a rogue nation eager for a covert nuclear weapons program.

2004-09-27 00:00:00

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