Friday, August 7, 1998
CONTACT: Steven Dolley
The Nuclear Control Institute today released the following statement by NCI's president, Paul Leventhal:
"Iraq's decision to block IAEA inspectors from making surprise visits to nuclear sites is ominous. The IAEA's latest report last month to the Security Council underscores Iraq's cadre of highly experienced nuclear personnel and their ability to exploit smuggled nuclear materials and technology for making weapons. The possibility of Saddam Hussein kick-starting a crash program to build nuclear weapons cannot be ruled out by any means."
In 1990, prior to the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein diverted attention away from his then- hidden nuclear weapons program by threatening to unleash chemical and biological weapons, Leventhal noted. "The UN Security Council should be especially vigilant against a repeat performance by Saddam," Leventhal warned. The Nuclear Control Institute has released two studies assessing the IAEA's reports to the UN Security Council, as well as NCI's correspondence with IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, raising concerns about the adequacy of these reports. The IAEA's latest progress report, which took a more cautious view of Iraq's nuclear potential, appeared to respond to a number of concerns raised by NCI. These reports and the correspondence with the IAEA can be downloaded from the NCI Website at http://www.nci.org/sadb.htm
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