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[casi] Fwd: ex-Iraqi atomic scientist rejects Powell's claims

Powell's argument is "threadbare".

The information receceived from defectors is "old news" - given
in return for a new start in the US. Iraq's nuclear scientists
of old are "either dead, have left the country or are living
in poverty in Iraq", said Imad Khadduri in an interview with
the Toronto Star.

Mr. Khadduri is a former Iraqi atomic scientist, who left Iraq
in 1998 and is now living in Markham, Ontario (Canada).

------------Start fwd-----------
[Toronto Star]

Feb. 6, 2003. 01:00 AM

U.S. argument `threadbare,' ex-Iraqi atomic scientist says He
claims nuclear effort ended in '91 Played part in plan to build


U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's assessment of Iraq's
nuclear capability shows how "threadbare" the American case for
war really is, former Iraqi atomic scientist Imad Khadduri said

"I sat and listened to Colin Powell and saw how he has no shred of
evidence," said the 59-year-old Khadduri, who left Iraq in 1998
and now lives in Markham.

He said he believes the international community will remain
unconvinced, and push the Americans to allow further inspections
instead of galloping off to war.

"It showed me how threadbare are the strings the U.S. is trying to
use to lead the world to war," said Khadduri, who now teaches
computer systems at Seneca College.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Khadduri was a key player in Iraq's
plan to build a nuclear bomb similar to those used by the
Americans in Japan in 1945. But, in an interview with The Star
last week, Khadduri maintained that Iraq's nuclear effort was
finished by destruction caused in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

In his speech to the U.N. Security Council yesterday, Powell said
Iraq has been covertly working throughout the 1990s and into the
present on the bomb project.

Khadduri angrily rejected this.

"Where are the giant buildings where Iraqi scientists are
supposedly trying to manufacture fissile material (needed for a
bomb)?" he asked. "They (the inspectors) have looked and not found
any evidence of this. Why does (U.S. President George W.) Bush not
realize Iraq has no nuclear program?"

Khadduri said Iraqi nuclear scientists who once worked to produce
a bomb are either dead, have left the country or are living in
poverty in Iraq. He said Powell's reference to information
received from defectors in 1991 and 1995 is old news. Those
defectors, he said, exchanged old information from Iraq's nuclear
program in the 1980s for help from the CIA to start new lives in
the United States.

As for Powell's comments about Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
trying to buy high-grade aluminum tubes, Khadduri said these are
needed for conventional weapons - not nuclear ones.

If the U.S. goes to war in Iraq based on such "flimsy" evidence,
it should outrage the international community, he said.

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