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March 25 (and 2 March 23rd articles)




Section Five
------------

(1)U.S. criticized for Iraq policy, vows to try to improve
UNITED NATIONS (AP) March 25.
(2)Iraq decides to boost exports ahead of key OPEC meeting
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) March 25.
(3)Iraq says it shot down another Iranian drone
BAGHDAD, March 25 (AFP)
(4)Iranian opposition hits back at US allegations
NICOSIA, March 25 (AFP)
(5)Iraqis reportedly got U.S. nuclear bomb plans off the library shelf
WASHINGTON (AFP) 
(6)U.N. Security Council Must Ease Iraq Crisis Humanitarian Emergency Should
be
Focus of Friday Debate(New York, March 23, 2000)
(7)Annan Exhorts U.N. Council on 'Oil for Food' for Iraqis
New York Times; New York; Mar 25, 2000; Barbara Crossette
(8)Saddam's Sudan?
New York Times; New York; Mar 23, 2000; William Safire
(9)IRAQ GOT ITS NUCLEAR KNOW-HOW FROM U.S. LIBRARIES, EXPERT SAYS AGENTS
SCOURED WORLD FOR DATA, REPORT STATES
Times - Picayune; New Orleans, La.; Mar 23, 2000; Barbara Crossette 2000,
The New York Times


http://www.abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20000325_261.html
:03/25/2000 02:19:00 ET
U.S. criticized for Iraq policy, vows to try to improve
UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ Friends and foes alike have publicly criticized the
United States for its Iraq policy, saying the Iraqi people were suffering
largely because of the U.S. hard line on sanctions.
In a heated Security Council debate Friday, the United States countered that
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was to blame for any hardships because he had
prolonged sanctions by refusing to give up his weapons of mass destruction.
Nevertheless, Deputy U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham said the United States
would try to improve its record in implementing the U.N. humanitarian
program for Iraq, which allows Baghdad to sell its oil through
U.N.-monitored sales.
Washington is releasing $100 million of the more than $1 billion in
contracts for equipment purchases it had blocked and is reviewing ways to
process contracts faster, Cunningham told the Security Council.
The United States was also ready to approve a doubling in the amount of
spare parts Iraq can buy to repair its dilapidated oil industry, he said.
While the initiatives were welcomed, nearly every council ambassador said
the United States had to do more to enable the U.N. oil-for-food program to
better care for Iraqis, who have lived under sanctions for nearly a decade.
"This `embargo generation' is a lost generation," said French Ambassador
Jean-David Levitte.
"How ironic is it that the same policy that is supposed to disarm Iraq of
its weapons of mass destruction has itself become a weapon of mass
destruction _ the deaths of innocent children," said Malaysian Ambassador
Agam Hasmy.
Iraq has been barred from selling oil on the open market since sweeping
sanctions were imposed after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The U.N.
oil-for-food program was launched in 1996 to provide for Iraqis suffering
under the measures, which cannot be lifted until Iraq has rid itself of its
weapons of mass destruction.
While more than $6.7 billion worth of goods have arrived in Iraq since the
relief program began, the United States has held up over $1 billion in
contracts for equipment to rebuild Iraq's aging electricity, oil and water
industries.
Washington says it wants to make sure the equipment isn't used to help
Saddam rebuild his weapons of mass destruction.
But several ambassadors, even those more friendly to Washington, said the
United States was taking its concerns too far, no matter how legitimate the
threat of so-called "dual-use" imports.
"Dual-use concerns need to be kept focused and realistic," Canadian
Ambassador Robert Fowler said in urging the United States to better weigh
the humanitarian impact of its policies.
Most of the criticism leveled at the United States, however, came from
countries more friendly with Baghdad.
Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov said it was "inadmissible" to think that
Iraq would resume cooperation with weapons inspectors with almost daily U.S.
and British airstrikes in the northern and southern no-fly zones.
Even Secretary-General Kofi Annan indirectly criticized the United States in
his speech.
"We are in danger of losing the argument or the propaganda war _ if we
haven't already lost it _ about who is responsible for the situation:
President Saddam Hussein or the United Nations," he said.
==========

http://www.abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20000325_607.html
:03/25/2000 08:14:00 ET
Iraq decides to boost exports ahead of key OPEC meeting
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ In an apparent attempt to grab the initiative from
OPEC, senior Oil Ministry officials said today that Iraq will boost exports
by about 700,000 barrels a day in the coming few weeks.
Word of the plan to increase exports from 1.6 million barrels a day to at
least 2.3 million barrels a day comes as major oil producers are gathering
in Vienna to review output levels.
It is not clear what impact Iraq's move will have on the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries decisions Monday.
Ministry officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not hide their
resentment of what they described as a U.S. policy of "muscle-twisting" to
push OPEC to increase output.
Iran's oil minister reiterated that appeal today, urging the cartel not to
be intimidated by Washington.
"U.S. pressures are meaningless to us. We hope OPEC members will not give in
to political pressures," Iran's oil minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, told
state-run Tehran radio in Vienna.
Oil revenues are almost Iraq's sole source of hard cash. The United Nations
closely monitors Iraqi oil exports, but Iraq can pump as much as it wants
under an adjustment to U.N. sanctions imposed for its 1990 invasion of
Kuwait.
Washington has been heavily lobbying oil-producing nations to increase
supplies to drive down record-high prices that have left American consumers
complaining about gasoline and heating oil costs.
By substantially raising its exports, Iraq may be hoping OPEC ministers will
decide to wait on across-the-board production increases or approve smaller
ones than the United States wants.
Foreign oil experts have said an additional 2 million to 2.5 million barrels
daily are needed to replenish depleted inventories and satisfy growing
demand.
Early this year, Iraq slashed its exports by 400,000 barrels per day, citing
the fragile state of its oil infrastructure. In the past few weeks, it has
cut an additional 300,000 barrels a day. Late last year, Iraq was exporting
an average of 2.3 million barrels a day.
Oil Minister Amer Mohammed Rashid confirmed today in an interview with CNN
that Iraq has reversed course.
Rashid said the decision to increase exports was prompted by the removal of
holds on contracts for the purchase of spare parts and a willingness by the
Security Council to double the amount of equipment Iraq can buy to repair
its shaky oil industry.
The officials said exports will start rising early next and will reach 2.3
million barrels a day in a few weeks.
They said Iraq intended to resume production at levels prevalent before the
end of 1999, which they put at nearly 3 million barrels a day. Iraq is not
part of OPEC's production ceiling, but Rashid has said he will ask OPEC to
set a quota for Iraq of no less than 3 million barrels a day.
Rashid warned, however, that Iraq will "be forced to alter its decision" to
boost exports if the United States continues placing its contracts on hold.
=======================

http://asia.dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/world/article.html?s=asia/headline
s/000325/world/afp/Iraq_says_it_shot_down_another_Iranian_drone.html
Saturday, March 25 9:10 PM SGT
Iraq says it shot down another Iranian drone
BAGHDAD, March 25 (AFP) -
Iraq said Saturday it shot down an Iranian pilotless plane over the south of
the country, in the second such incident this month.
The commander of Iraq's air defences, quoted by the official news agency
INA, said the drone was shot down on Friday over the Al-Azair region of
Missan province, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) south of Baghdad.
The Iraqi military has said it also downed an Iranian drone on March 13,
near the border with Iran.
On Wednesday, Iraq blamed Iran for a mortar attack that killed four people
in Baghdad in apparent retaliation for a similar strike in Tehran claimed by
Iran's armed opposition, which is based in Iraq.
--------------

http://asia.dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/world/article.html?s=asia/headline
s/000325/world/afp/Iranian_opposition_hits_back_at_US_allegations.html
Saturday, March 25 4:23 PM SGT
Iranian opposition hits back at US allegations
NICOSIA, March 25 (AFP) -
Iran's armed opposition, the People's Mujahedeen, hit back Saturday at US
State Department allegations that Iraq had use tens of millions of dollars
earned from smuggling oil to build a base for the group.
In a statement faxed to AFP in Nicosia, the Iraq-based Mujahedeen said that
its "bases and centres have all been built from their own funds, raised from
contributions by the people of Iran.
"A plethora of documents backing this assertion is available for anyone
interested and can be published."
The State Department Friday released a satellite photograph showing military
installations located in the city of Faluja, west of Baghdad, that US
officials say can accommodate between 3,000 and 5,000 fighters.
"It will be used to coordinate MEK terrorist activities and to plan attacks
against targets in Iran and elsewhere," said State Department spokesman
James Rubin.
MEK is an acronym for the People's Mujahedeen, which for the past three
years has been designated by the State Department as a terrorist
organization.
The Mujahedeen retorted Saturday, "There is nothing secret or hidden about
the camps and centres of .... the Iranian Resistance in the Iran-Iraq border
region, Baghdad and west of Baghdad."
These bases had come under attack 88 times by "the religious, terrorist
dictatorship ruling Iran" since 1993, it said.
They had also been visited by UN weapons inspectors in Iraq, who
acknowledged they were not under Iraqi control, the statement added.
Camp Bagherzadeh, the site featured in the State Department photograph, was
nothing new, it said, having been inspected by UNSCOM in September 1997 and
visited by foreign journalists on dozens of occasions.
US State Department spokesman James Rubin said Friday that by releasing the
satellite photo the United States wanted to illustrate "the threat that
Saddam Hussein poses because of his willingness to spend money that he has
to provide direct state sponsorship for terrorism."
The State Department action came as the UN Security Council was discussing
the humanitarian situation in Iraq after nine years of international
sanctions.
The Mujahedeen statement noted that the New York Times quoted a senior US
official as saying "this is a propaganda campaign" being used against any
easing of the sanctions.
J.T. 3/24-25

===============

http://www.accessme.com/jordantimes/Fri/news/news5.htm
Iraqis reportedly got U.S. nuclear bomb plans off the library shelf
WASHINGTON (AFP)  Iraqi students and scientists living in the United States
prior to the 1991 Gulf War obtained information on how to make nuclear bombs
and sent it back to Iraq, according to a former Iraqi official cited by the
New York Times on Thursday.
The students and scientists simply gathered the data from university
libraries and scientific conferences, the Times said.
The former official, Khidhir Hamza, made the assertions in a report he
prepared late last year for the Institute for Science and International
Security, an independent, Washington-based research group, the Times
reported.
The institute had been asked by the U.S. Department of Energy to interview
Hamza, who had held several high-level positions in the Iraqi government
prior to defecting in 1995. U.S. officials wanted to know whether U.S.
secrets had been obtained by Iraq, and if so how.
Some experts on nuclear disarmament believe that some Iraqi exiles living in
the United States may still be under pressure to gather information for
Iraqi intelligence agents, according to the paper.
The Times said some Iraqi exiles believe their activities are still being
monitored by agents of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
However, Iraqi students essentially have been barred from travelling to
study overseas since 1990, and that in combination with Iraq's international
isolation, due to sanctions imposed on the country since the war, have made
it nearly impossible for Baghdad to collect information in the same way.
David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International
Security, told the Times that Hamza's report described a wide-ranging and
well-financed Iraqi effort, beginning in the 1970s, to build a nuclear
weapon.
The effort involved scouring the worlds scientific libraries, company
databases and conference papers, and it continued through Iraq's invasion of
Kuwait in 1990 and the Gulf War in 1991, Albright told the Times.
In any case, the information gathered from the United States probably was
not sufficient alone to complete work on a nuclear weapon, the newspaper
said.

=========================

http://www.hrw.org/press/2000/03/iraq0323.htm
U.N. Security Council Must Ease Iraq Crisis Humanitarian Emergency Should be
Focus of Friday Debate

(New York, March 23, 2000) In a letter sent yesterday, Human Rights Watch
and five other organizations asked the United Nations Security Council to
take decisive steps to address the humanitarian emergency in Iraq. The
letter urged member states to use the Iraq debate scheduled for this Friday,
March 24, to address the crisis "in a thorough and transparent manner" and
to give priority to fundamental humanitarian and human rights principles in
the design and operation of the sanctions regime.
The Council should make Friday's meeting open and public, and the U.S.
should stop pretending that the sanctions have nothing to do with the dire
public health crisis confronting millions of Iraqis. Hanny Megally
Executive Director Middle East and North Africa Division Human Rights Watch
"The Council should make Friday's meeting open and public," said Hanny
Megally, executive director of the Middle East and North Africa division of
Human Rights Watch, "and the U.S. should stop pretending that the sanctions
have nothing to do with the dire public health crisis confronting millions
of Iraqis." Megally also criticized the many "holds," which stop contracts
without rejecting them, that the United States and the United Kingdom have
placed on key Iraqi imports.

Related Materials Restructure Iraq Embargo, Try Leaders for War Crimes
HRW Press Release, January 5, 2000

The signatories of today's letter include Save the Children/UK and the
Mennonite Central Committee, which have ongoing humanitarian aid programs in
Iraq. In early January, Human Rights Watch asked the Security Council to
lift most restrictions on Iraq's non-military trade and investment while
tightening controls on the country's ability to import weapons-related
goods. The organization, citing its own extensive documentation of
government responsibility for genocide and crimes against humanity, also
called for the establishment of an international criminal tribunal to try
top Iraqi leaders. The Security Council scheduled this Friday's meeting to
discuss the Secretary-General's March 10 report on the oil-for-food program
(S/2000/208). In that report the Secretary-General noted that an "excessive
number of holds" continued to impede the relief program and regretted that
the sanctions committee, made up of the Security Council member states, had
not responded to his earlier request that it provide "written and explicit
explanations" regarding holds within twenty-four hours (paragraphs 84 and
87). The Secretary-General's report cited as an example the hold on a
harbor dredger for the port of Umm Qasr, Iraq's major port of entry, an item
whose absence makes the offloading of vital food and spare parts slow and
inefficient (paragraph 72). "This appears to be an instance where concern
for potential dual use lacks balance and a sense of proportion," said
Megally, "It makes a mockery of the Council's stated concern for the
well-being of ordinary people." Holds on contracts in the water and
sanitation and electric power sectors, the report said, have been a major
factor impeding progress in the area of public health, where emergency
conditions persist. The International Committee of the Red Cross, in a
December 1999 report, said that the oil-for-food program "has not halted the
collapse of the health system and the deterioration of water supplies, which
together pose one of the gravest threats to the health and well being of the
civilian population." (E-mail Rania Masri for a copy of the letter)
-----------


Annan Exhorts U.N. Council on 'Oil for Food' for Iraqis
New York Times; New York; Mar 25, 2000; Barbara Crossette


Secretary General Kofi Annan warned today that the United Nations was in
danger of losing a propaganda war with President Saddam Hussein of Iraq if
the ''oil for food'' program intended to help Iraqi civilians suffering
under sanctions is not made more effective immediately.

''The humanitarian situation in Iraq poses a serious moral dilemma for this
organization,'' Mr. Annan told the council. ''The United Nations has always
been on the side of the vulnerable and the weak, and has always sought to
relieve suffering, yet here we are accused of causing suffering to an entire
population.''

He was speaking at a special daylong Security Council session to review the
organization's work in Iraq, during which the United States was on the
defensive against criticism that it is blunting the positive impact of the
program by blocking more than 1,000 import contracts.

Responding to such charges, James B. Cunningham, the deputy American
representative at the United Nations, announced today that the United States
was lifting its holds, in the committee on sanctions against Iraq, on 70
contracts worth at least $100 million. The United States also formally
introduced its resolution doubling to $600 million the value of oil
equipment Iraq may import every six months. The amount of oil Iraq can
export has not been limited since December.

Richard C. Holbrooke, the American representative, was not in the Security
Council today. He has played down the Iraq issue since his arrival in
August, showing little interest in a long-running Clinton administration
policy that has drawn rebukes against the United States. He has turned the
Iraq file over to Mr. Cunningham, who is more familiar with the issue,
having been posted here when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, an invasion that
led to the imposition of international sanctions.

Today, Mr. Cunningham offered several proposals for better supervision in
Iraq, so that American suspicions about the ultimate use or destinations of
certain imported goods, including electrical, scientific, telecommunications
and oil equipment, could be reduced.

Even with current Iraqi problems, Mr. Cunningham said, Iraq's oil exports
and food imports are reaching the levels that prevailed before Iraq's
invasion of Kuwait.

In a long speech accompanied by statistical material circulated to council
members, Mr. Cunningham continued to place much of the blame for
shortcomings in the oil sales plan on Mr. Hussein's government, which, he
said, refuses to expedite orders, share information or allow inspections at
many sites.

Mr. Annan also took the Iraqis to task, saying people living under sanctions
are ''often victims both of their own government and of the measures taken
against it.'' The only way to end that, he added, is for Iraq to comply with
council decisions.

The council is waiting to see whether Mr. Hussein will allow the return of
weapons inspectors, the key to ending sanctions.

But Mr. Annan expressed anguish over the position the United Nations now
finds itself in, with an uncooperative Iraq on one side and an intransigent
United States on the other.

''We are in danger of losing the argument, or the propaganda war -- if we
haven't already lost it -- about who is responsible for this situation,
President Saddam Hussein or the United Nations,'' he said.

During today's debate, several council members tried to shift from past
blame to future efforts to make the ''oil for food'' program work.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock of Britain, speaking to reporters before this
afternoon's session, said there were numerous things the council could do
without further debate.

''We can speed the procedures in the sanctions committee,'' he said. ''We
can inject more cash into the U.N. program in Iraq. We can start to stop the
smuggling that is going on, the illegal oil sales. We can increase the
number of monitors looking at the program's delivery in Iraq, and if we do
that, we can bring down the number of holds.''

The Russians, French and Chinese were most critical today of the American
and British positions on Iraq. Sergey Lavrov, the Russian representative,
accused the United States and Britain of killing more than 140 people and
wounding hundreds in attacks in the no-flight zones in northern and southern
Iraq.

''Any explanation that these strikes were not directed at civilians does not
hold water,'' Mr. Lavrov said. He called for an early suspension of
sanctions.

Peter van Walsum, the Dutch representative and chairman of the committee on
sanctions against Iraq, said that despite differences, there was a council
consensus that Iraq still has to convince the world that it does not have
dreams of creating prohibited weapons.

''Iraq is the only country in modern history that has not only attempted to
develop all categories of weapons of mass destruction -- nuclear, biological
and chemical -- but has actually used such weapons, both against a foreign
enemy and against its own citizens,'' Mr. van Walsum said. ''In doing so,
Iraq has placed itself in a league of its own.''

Until today, two issues lying at the heart of the debate on Iraq had rarely
been raised. One is the scarcity of verifiable information beyond what is
physically visible to United Nations officials in Iraq -- whose appointments
Baghdad can control in the sense that it can reject nominees for relief
positions, and whose movements are frequently circumscribed.

All health and poverty figures the United Nations has to work with are
provided by the Iraqi government. Journalists cannot report freely in the
country, and the international news agencies there must use Iraqi citizens
for day-to-day reporting, which usually amounts to no more than repeating
what officials say in the state-controlled press.

Iraqi government decisions are often opaque, some United Nations officials
say. In some ministries, there appears to be little planning for social
development using what funds are available to the government from its own
resources.

The second issued seldom raised before now is that in the virtual absence of
independent information-gathering in Iraq, critics of Mr. Hussein say, the
effects of sanctions can be manipulated to influence public opinion inside
and outside the country, as a few speakers noted today.

Richard Butler, a diplomat in residence at the Council on Foreign Relations,
who was chief arms inspector in Iraq from 1997 to 1999, argues that
sanctions worked when they were first imposed.

''Sanctions might work initially, depending not on how severe they are or
how the leadership reacts to them,'' he said in an interview on Wednesday.
''They did, in the Iraq case, concentrate their minds for a while.''

But the longer sanctions are applied, Mr. Butler said, ''the less and less
effective they become, to the point where they invert in their effectiveness
for two reasons. One, they get busted through a black market, and two, the
leadership is able to parlay this into a reason for staying in power.

''I think that's exactly where Saddam is now,'' he said. ''He's saying,
'Only I can protect you from all those bad people out there, and that's why
you've got to stick with me.' ''
===========

Saddam's Sudan?
New York Times; New York; Mar 23, 2000; William Safire


What do you do with a disturbing national security tip from a usually
reliable source? You check it out, of course, with intelligence operatives
who have no ax to grind.

But what do you do when those analysts say that they pondered the report at
interagency meetings and doubt its accuracy -- but it could be true and
bears watching? All I can do is pass along the disputed report with
appropriate caveats.

It was first hinted at six months ago in a paragraph by the well-connected
Bill Gertz of The Washington Times: ''A Pentagon intelligence agency
reported earlier this month that North Korea offered to sell the government
of Sudan an entire factory for assembling Scud missiles.''

That didn't seem to add up, because Sudan is nearly broke and doesn't need
long-range missiles to fight its civil war. Where would the money be found
to finance the missile factory, and who in that area wants the Scuds?

Enter Amir Rashid, Iraq's oil minister and Saddam Hussein's chief procurer
of ballistic missiles.

Two years ago, I'm told, Rashid paid a secret visit to Pyongyang and saw
North Korea's missile marketer, Chon Byong-Ho. Saddam's man also visited the
Chang Gwang Sinyong Corporation, a key world source of illicit arms.

Topic A was Scuds, many of which were secreted by Iraq in Sudan to escape
U.N. detection. A year later, Iraq's chief engineer, Ra'ad Ismail Jamil,
received a North Korean delegation in Baghdad.

Only five weeks ago, says my informant, two delegations arrived in Khartoum,
capital of Sudan. One was a group of North Korean technical experts; the
other was a military research mission from Baghdad.

Their project? The Koreans are said to be working on building a
ballistic-missile plant near Khartoum, with Iraqi financing of $475 million.
Pyongyang gets a big chunk of that for turnkey construction and expert
staffing; Khartoum a smaller percentage for acting as cutout, site protector
and smuggler; and Baghdad gets its old missiles refurbished and new,
longer-range missiles built.

If true, such conspiracy among three rogue nations would spell big trouble.
So I rattled some American intelligence cages; had they heard of this
three-pariah missile deal?

All had. The story (without the recent Khartoum meeting) has been bruited
about for months, including the $475 million figure. It was the subject of
two interagency meetings; the White House was briefed.

The current U.S. assessment is that any Iraqi-financed missile factory
''cannot be confirmed,'' although there is no doubt that North Korea has
been peddling arms in Sudan. ''The report is impossible to stamp out,'' says
a frustrated doubter. Another derogates the story that won't go away as
''rumint'' -- merely rumored intelligence.

Their logical reason for skepticism is that Sudan is heavily infiltrated by
Iranian operatives, who might sabotage or publicize any Iraqi plant. Another
is that newly secure Pyongyang is now in the midst of a charm offensive,
which will soon include the first visit to Washington by a high-level
diplomat since the end of the Korean War. This huge weapons deal would run
counter to that opening.

On the other hand, there is reason for skepticism about the spookery's
skepticism. Eighteen months ago, on indirect evidence later questioned,
President Clinton ordered a cruise missile attack at the Al Shifa
pharmaceutical plant. Our spies may now be super-cautious.

On the third hand, I am inclined to take the rumint seriously because this
method of outsourcing his secret weapons development to a rogue-state
neighbor so neatly fits Saddam Hussein's interest. Also, if true, a secret
Sudanese missile plant financed by Iraqi oil sales would argue cogently
against efforts to appease Saddam by lifting economic sanctions, so avidly
desired by the Jiang-Putin-Chirac cabal at the U.N.

Wait -- this just in. Porter Goss, chairman of the Permanent House Select
Committee on Intelligence, is willing to go on the record: ''We have been
concerned with the development of weapons of mass destruction and their
delivery systems in Sudan, as well as Sudan's ties with North Korea. The
matter is receiving our attention.''

===========
IRAQ GOT ITS NUCLEAR KNOW-HOW FROM U.S. LIBRARIES, EXPERT SAYS AGENTS
SCOURED WORLD FOR DATA, REPORT STATES
Times - Picayune; New Orleans, La.; Mar 23, 2000; Barbara Crossette 2000,
The New York Times

Full Text:Copyright Times Picayune Publishing Company Mar 23, 2000

A former high-ranking official in Iraq's secret nuclear weapons program says
that before the 1991 Persian Gulf war, Iraqi students in the United States
combed university libraries for bomb-building information, and Iraqi agents
and scientists collected valuable data at American scientific conferences.

Khidhir Hamza, who held several high-level jobs in Iraq before his defection
in 1995, made his claims in a report prepared late last year for the
Institute for Science and International Security, an independent research
group in Washington. The Department of Energy had asked the institute to
interview Hamza about how Iraq obtained scientific information.

Government officials were interested in knowing whether any critical
American secrets had fallen into Iraqi hands and how those leaks could be
plugged.

A few disarmament experts question whether some Iraqi exiles living in the
United States may still be under pressure from Iraqi intelligence agents to
continue sharing information. Iraqi exiles say agents of Saddam Hussein's
government still follow their activities.

Since 1990, however, Iraqi students have effectively been barred from
traveling abroad to study, and Iraq has been isolated through international
sanctions that have made it virtually impossible for its government to
continue gathering information in the same way.

David Albright, an American scientist and nuclear arms expert who is
president of the institute, said that on some important issues, Hamza's
report was disappointing in its lack of detail and solid advice on how to
counter foreign spying strategies.

But the report, turned over to the Energy Department by Albright in November
and recently released as an unclassified document, showed that the Iraqi
effort allowed Hussein's government to build the foundations of a nuclear
weapons program, though the scientific information gained in the United
States probably was not sufficient in itself to finish the work on a weapon.

The report nevertheless paints a picture of an exceptionally broad and
well-financed Iraqi effort to build a nuclear weapon by scouring the world's
scientific libraries, company data bases and conference papers beginning in
the 1970s and continuing until Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the war
that followed early the next year.

After the war, U.N. inspectors found that Iraq's nuclear weapons program was
more advanced than expected. It was dismantled, but questions remain about
how easily Iraq would be able to restart it.

The report adds another dimension to official investigations in the United
States and Britain that until now focused largely on Iraq's efforts to buy
crucial equipment illegally from Western countries.




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