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Feb 10, 2024
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Former Iraqi Nuclear Agency Official Dr. Alaa Al-Tamimi: The Military Nuclear Program Only Brought Disasters Upon Iraq; Secret Program Continued After Israeli 1981 Bombing, And Was Not Targeted In 1991 Gulf War Due To Lack Of Intelligence

#10882 | 03:12
Source: France 24 Arabic TV (France)

Former Iraqi nuclear agency official Dr. Alaa Al-Tamimi said in a February 9, 2024 interview with France 24 Arabic TV that Iraq's military nuclear program was a mistake and that it brought disasters upon Iraq. He said that Iraq had no need for a nuclear weapon, and that when Saddam Hussein advertised in 1975 that the Iraqi nuclear program is heading towards manufacturing the first Arab nuclear bomb, this led to the wrath of Iraq's powerful neighbors, Iran and Israel. Al-Tamimi said that Iraq entered into a long war, with Iran and Israel bombed Iraqi soil. He added that after Israel bombed Iraq's nuclear facilities in 1981, Iraq established a secret nuclear program that was not discovered by the Americans even during the 1991 Gulf War.

Alaa Al-Tamimi: "The nuclear program brought disasters upon Iraq."

Interviewer: "Sorry to interrupt you, but in 1975, Saddam Hussein stated that the construction of the nuclear reactor was the first step towards building the Arab nuclear bomb – was that statement part of the problem and also caused disasters?"

Al-Tamimi: "That statement was not wise. I believe that it increased the fears of the West. Iran and Israel have it, but they do not declare this. So how could a country, in 1975, during the first stages of [its nuclear project], declare that it was going to build a bomb? This series of mistakes accumulated and brought us to where we are now."

Interviewer: "Who was worried about the Iraqi nuclear reactor?"

Al-Tamimi: "Iraq is located between two regional powers, Iran and Israel. We entered a war against Iran for many years, and Israel bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor. The United States was not afraid that Iraq would have a nuclear bomb, but as you know, the U.S. is an ally of Israel. In my personal opinion, going into this war was a mistake in the first place. Iraq is a simple country, a minor country. Placing itself [in a conflict] with the big powers was..."

Interviewer: "In your view, the idea to build a nuclear reactor was a mistake?"

Al-Tamimi: "If it remained for peaceful purposes, then the idea (to build it) was fine, because it is a legitimate right, especially when everything is out in the open. But if it turns into a military project…

[...]

"After Iraq was bombed by [Israel] in 1981, the Iraqi government changed its strategy, and decided to rely on itself. Saddam Hussein summoned Dr. Jafar Dhia Jafar, who wrote about this in his book 'The Last Confession'... Saddam said to him: 'I want you build the bomb, but use Iraqi resources. Do not rely on any foreign resources.'

"And this is what happened. Therefore, all the nuclear facilities that were built in Iraq after that time were secret. Even in the 1991 war – during the 42 days of American bombing... Believe it or not, but they did not target the nuclear facilities, because they did not know about them. Some were eventually bombed, only because the ran out of targets, and just bombed anything."

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