memri

August 10, 2004
Clip No.
190

Iraqi Nuclear Scientist: Saddam Hid Biological and Chemical WMDs

Iraqi nuclear scientist Hussein Isma'il Al-Bahdli spoke about Saddam's nuclear and WMD program on Al-Fayhaa, the new Iraqi channel broadcasting from the UAE. The following are excerpts:

Interviewer: Was there a real reason for the fears of the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction?

Al-Bahdli: Certainly, because had Saddam's program continued according to plan, he would have achieved this weapon and it is impossible that he would have kept this kind of weapon only for defensive purposes.

Interviewer: In a nutshell, how much time did Iraq need, before the Gulf War, to reach the manufacturing of a nuclear bomb?

Al-Bahdli: According to the information I was privy to at the time, perhaps a limited number of years. Within two years or less, he could have?

Interviewer: Would this have been a primitive or advanced bomb?

Al-Bahdli: He could undoubtedly have reached the stage of carrying out a nuclear explosion and as a result of this he could have continued manufacturing a nuclear bomb if he had the required raw materials.

Interviewer: The fears in the UN, the inspection commissions and all that happened? Did Iraq have biological or chemical weapons, manufactured or purchased, that were hidden?

Al-Bahdli: The truth is that there is no doubt that in the early stages of inspection there were remnants of what was destroyed following the invasion of Kuwait. Part of this was destroyed, for instance by the inspection teams who found them on various occasions. Another part remained hidden and occasionally they tried to transfer it from one area to another by the Republican Guard forces that had it in their possession and were the only forces he would trust within Iraq.