- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 18, 2002

NEW YORK Dozens of suppliers, mostly in Europe, the United States and Japan, provided the components and know-how Saddam Hussein needed to build an atomic bomb, according to Iraq's 1996 accounting of its nuclear program.
The secret declaration is virtually identical to the one submitted to U.N. inspectors Dec. 7, according to U.N. officials. The reports have not been made public to prevent nuclear know-how from falling into the wrong hands and to protect the names of companies that wittingly or unwittingly supplied Iraq with the means to make nuclear weapons.
U.N. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the only difference between the two reports is that the latest has a 300-page section in Arabic on civilian nuclear programs and a slightly larger typeface that stretches it to 2,100 pages.
It has long been known that foreign companies helped Iraq, and some of them have been identified, but the Iraqi account is the most exhaustive list so far of companies involved.
Iraq's report says the equipment was either sold or made by more than 30 German companies, 10 American firms, 11 British companies and a handful of Swiss, Japanese, Italian, French, Swedish and Brazilian firms. It says more than 30 countries supplied its nuclear program.
It details nuclear efforts from the early 1980s to the Gulf war and contains diagrams, plans and test results in uranium enrichment, detonation, implosion testing and warhead construction.
In one chapter, Iraq admits to having a pilot plan in September 1990 one month after it invaded Kuwait to increase the enrichment of recovered uranium to 93 percent using centrifuges. The process is a complicated extraction and purification method that at full scale requires thousands of connected, high-speed centrifuges.
According to Iraq's report, the most detailed account of its former nuclear-weapons program, it was also pursuing electromagnetic isotope separation as another method to enrich uranium, the key ingredient for an atomic explosion.
The Iraqis had everything they needed to make nuclear weapons, said Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project, a Washington-based think tank on nuclear-arms control. "They weren't missing any components or any knowledge," he said in a phone interview. "It was simply a matter of time."
Mr. Milhollin said that had it not been for the 1991 Gulf war, Iraq would have had nuclear weapons by now, thanks to hundreds of suppliers who sold it an impressive array of equipment and expertise, often with their governments' approval and without being aware of the ultimate purpose.
According to the Iraqi account, induction and electron-beam furnaces, which could be used in shaping uranium parts for an atomic bomb, came from Consarc Corp. of Rancocas, N.J. The company says the items were never delivered, however.
Newport of Irvine, Calif., is listed as a supplier of optical fiber, a product with uses ranging from communications to medical equipment. But the company said it doesn't carry the model listed in the declaration.
EEV, based outside New York City, is listed as a supplier of a thyratron, which the company says is used in medical-imaging equipment. It could not immediately verify the sale of the item.
Motorola was listed as the seller of fast photodetectors, but company spokeswoman Jennifer Weyrauch said she found no record to support the claim. "A photodetector product is not part of Motorola's current portfolio," she said.
Most of the sales were legal and often made with the knowledge of governments. From 1985 to 1990, the Commerce Department, for example, licensed $1.5 billion in sales to Iraq of American technology with potential military uses. Iraq was then getting Western support for its war against Iran.

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