News


Tracking Number:  201068

Title:  "Editorial: Iraq's Nuclear Weapons Program." Following IAEA discovery of Iraq's hidden nuclear weapons program, the US has vowed to keep the pressure on Iraq until the world is satisfied that all of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them have been destroyed and new leadership is in place. (911017)

Translated Title:  Editorial: El programa de armas nucleares de Irak. (911017)
Date:  19911017

Text:
*TXT401

10/17/91 * EDITORIAL: IRAQ'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM (400)

(Following is an editorial, broadcast by the Voice of America October 17, reflecting the views of the U.S. government.)

For several years, the United States and some other countries suspected that Iraq was trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Because of these suspicions, the United States tried to control the export to Iraq of certain equipment and materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons. In March 1990, U.S. and British customs officials blocked an Iraqi attempt to buy a number of U.S.-manufactured capacitors. As U.S. officials pointed out at the time, these electronic components can be used to trigger nuclear bombs.

In recent months, the world has learned that Iraq had made far more progress toward developing nuclear weapons than most people had thought. After Iraq's aggression against Kuwait was reversed last March, the U.N. Security Council took action. The United Nations required Iraq to tell the truth and declare the locations, amounts and types of all facilities and materials associated with its nuclear-weapons program and to accept unconditionally the complete elimination of all such facilities and materials. In response, Iraqi officials told the United Nations last April that Iraq had no intention of building nuclear weapons and that the Iraqi nuclear program was devoted to "peaceful purposes."

In cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations sent several teams of inspectors to Iraq. Since April, the inspectors have compiled a massive amount of evidence showing that Iraq had a multifaceted program to develop atomic bombs and was even working on the development of hydrogen bombs. U.N. inspectors say that prior to the Persian Gulf war, Iraq may have been only 12 to 18 months away from producing its first nuclear bomb -- not several years away, as many people had previously thought.

Iraq's attempts to develop nuclear weapons, as well as its chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles, pose a continuing threat to peace. As President George Bush said this week, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to "scorn the will of the world. Iraq must never again threaten its neighbors." President Bush said the world "will keep the pressure on until we are satisfied that all of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them have been destroyed -- until a new leadership in Iraq stands ready to live in peace with its neighbors." NNNN


File Identification:  10/17/91, TX-401; 10/17/91, AR-413; 10/17/91, PX-406; 10/17/91, EU-417; 10/17/91, NE-406; 10/18/91, NA-507; 10/21/91, AS-108
Product Name:  Wireless File; VOA Editorials
Product Code:  WF; VO
Languages:  Arabic; Spanish
Keywords:  IRAQ/Defense & Military; INSPECTIONS; ARMS CONTROL VERIFICATION; INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY; HUSSEIN, SADDAM; IRAQ/Politics & Government; PERSIAN GULF WAR; MILITARY CAPABILITIES; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; CHEMICAL & BIOLOGICAL
Document Type:  EDI
Thematic Codes:  1NE; 1AC; 1UN
Target Areas:  AR; EA; EU
PDQ Text Link:  201068; 201272