News


Tracking Number:  189813

Title:  Discussion of Iraq's nuclear program and the effects of the 1983 Israeli attack on Iraqi nuclear sites on the Iraqi program. DoS Report. (910710)

Date:  19910710

Text:
*NEA303

07/10/91 *

STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT, WEDNESDAY, JULY 10 (Taken questions on Iraq/Israel) (280)

There was no regular State Department press briefing July 10. However, the Office of the Assistant Secretary/Spokesman posted the following responses to questions taken during July 9 noon press briefing:

(BEGIN TEXT)

IRAQI NUCLEAR PROGRAM

Q: Do we now believe Iraq's nuclear program is more sophisticated than we originally thought? Is that the case?

A: Long before Iraq's invasion of Kuwait last August, the U.S. had serious concerns about Iraq's nuclear intentions and attempts to advance its nuclear capabilities. In particular, despite Iraq's adherence to the Non- Proliferation Treaty, we had compelling evidence that Iraq was attempting to develop a clandestine program of uranium enrichment capability by means of gas centriguge. Iraq's recent disclosures confirm that Iraq's enrichment development program was multifaceted and diverse. Considerable resources were directed toward an Electromagnetic Isotope Separation (EMIS) Program employing a technology similar to that used by the U.S. during the Manhattan project. However, no matter how inefficient, EMIS can be used to enrich uranium from its natural state to highly enriched levels suitable to nuclear weapons applications. Therefore, it is important that all aspects of Iraq's EMIS program as well as any other enrichment technologies and other proscribed activities, facilities and equipment be identified, inspected and eliminated under U.N. Security Council Resolution 687.

ISRAELI ATTACK ON IRAQI REACTOR

Q: Do we have a judgment on how the Israeli attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor affected the development of Iraq's nuclear program?

A: Any judgement on Saddam Hussein's motivations for seeking a nuclear weapons capability or what effect the 1981 attack might have had on Iraq's program would be extremely speculative.

(END TEXT)

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File Identification:  07/10/91, NE-303; 07/10/91, NA-306
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Languages:  Arabic
Keywords:  IRAQ/Defense & Military; MILITARY CAPABILITIES; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; IRAQ-ISRAEL RELATIONS; COMBAT OPERATIONS; ARMS CONTROL VERIFICATION
Document Type:  TRA; EXC
Thematic Codes:  1NE; 1ME; 1AC
Target Areas:   NE
PDQ Text Link:  189813