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Sep 19, 2013
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Leading Egyptian Journalist Haikal: Egypt, All Other Arab Countries Produced Chemical and Biological Weapons; German Scientists Helped

#3990 | 02:43
Source: CBC TV (Egypt)

Following are excerpts from an interview with senior Egyptian journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, which aired on CBC TV on September 19, 2013:

Muhammad Hassanein Heikal: In the 1950s and 1960s, attempts to end the nuclear arms race began. Countries that already had nuclear arms decided to make do with what they had, and all the other countries, which found it too difficult to join the nuclear arms race, believed that the production of chemical and biological weapons was the poor man's way to deter the nuclear countries. This was especially true with regard to the Arab world. Not a single Arab country refrained from producing chemical and biological weapons.

Interviewer: None of them?

Muhammad Hassanein Heikal: Not a single Arab country refrained from producing and maintaining an arsenal of chemical weapons.

Interviewer: Including Egypt?

Muhammad Hassanein Heikal: Yes. The production of chemical and biological weapons was easy. It was all based on German scientists who fled Germany [following WWII]. Some of them had knowledge of nuclear energy, like Dr. [Wolfgang] Pilz, who came to us for a while, and then started working on missiles and moved to China.

Interviewer: This was in the 1950s?

Muhammad Hassanein Heikal: In the 1950s and 1960s. Since obtaining nuclear energy was so difficult and expensive, and since we all more or less know that Israel has nuclear weapons, all the countries, down to the very last one...

Interviewer: So they produced it at some point, but does this continue today?

Muhammad Hassanein Heikal: All the countries produced it, and they all realized after a while that they could not benefit from keeping large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. Qadhafi had them. Everybody did. Syria has them.


I believe that it does not bother Syria too much to get rid of those stockpiles of chemical weapons, which it has realized – as the whole world has realized – that it cannot use.

Interviewer: But when [Al Assad] agreed to hand over his chemical weapons, he acknowledged that he has such chemical weapons...

Muhammad Hassanein Heikal: But everybody has chemical weapons.


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