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memri
September 13, 2002 No.
420

Saddam Hussein's Meetings with Nuclear Energy Agency

In recent months, the daily Babil, which is owned and published by Saddam's Hussein's eldest son, Uday, has reported on a number of meetings between Saddam Hussein and Dr. Fadhil Muslim Al-Janabi, the head of Iraq's Nuclear Energy Agency, and a number of nuclear scientists. The following are excerpts from the articles:

In the most recently reported meeting last July, Al-Janabi told Saddam of the nuclear agency's scientists' "commitment to climb a new peak in the many peaks of the scientific progress and development which has a beginning but has no end... as they draw their righteous swords in the face of the evil aggressors..." In his response, Saddam praised their "scientific achievements which have revealed Iraq's mettle, patience, steadfastness and determination to climb and seize the opportunity of progress and development."

Saddam went on to say: "They [the Americans and the British] say that if Iraq is left alone it will produce this and that weapon and may put the products at the disposal of terrorists. This talk is like a joke. In reality, they mean harm, that is to say preventing any Arab or Muslim from developing. This is the evil program of the West, and in America, in particular."[1]

On the occasion of Saddam Hussein's 65th birthday, Babil reported on another meeting between Saddam and Dr. Al-Janabi and his nuclear scientists. Al-Janabi pledged to Saddam that his researchers "will put their creative minds and the renewed Iraqi expertise into strengthening our scientific progress." In response, Saddam praised their progress which he characterized as "a model for the Arab nation and humanity."[2]

In his meeting with the same group in January, 2002, Saddam commended the warriors of the Iraqi Nuclear Energy Agency "on their achievements which fill the hearts of the Iraqis with faith and pride." At that occasion, Al-Janabi told Saddam: "As time goes on, your sons, the Mujahideen [warriors] become more determined and energetic, not only to overcome difficulties, but also to invent new and advanced ways of accomplishing their work..."[3]

Going further back to November 2001, and in a meeting with Al-Janabi and his nuclear scientists, Hussein praised the scientists for "their initiatives and innovations in the areas of their specializations."[4]


[1] Babil, July 31, 2002. In his speech to the United Nations, President George W. Bush warned against Iraq placing weapons in the hands of terrorists. In his words, "And if an emboldened regime were to supply these weapons to terrorist allies, then the attacks of 11th September will be a prelude to far greater horrors."

[2] Babil, May 28, 2002.

[3] Iraq News Agency, January 12, 2002.

[4] Babil, November 7, 2002. Saddam Hussein Meets with Heads of the Iraqi Nuclear Program and Defense Establishment.