Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Al Qaim / Al Quaim

Al Qaim engaged in the production of yellow cake (refined uranium ore) from 1984 to 1990. All of the yellow cake used by nuclear program allegedly came from this site. Ore was supplied to the facility by both Iraqi and foreign sources.

Al Qaim is said to be located 380 km WNW of Baghdad. One of two towns named Al Qa'im is not located in the reported WNW direction from Baghdad. The Al Qa'im tower [variants: Manarat al Qa'im; Imam Ilkaim] is located in roughly the correct direction. The other town of Al Qa'im [variants: El Qa'im; El Kaim] is located roughly in the correct direction from Baghdad. The plant itself is located somewhat to the southeast of the town of Al Qaim.

Phosphate rock reserves were located mainly in the Akashat area northwest of Baghdad and were estimated in 1987 at 5.5 billion tons -- enough to meet local needs for centuries. A fertilizer plant at Al Qaim, linked by rail to the Akashat mine, started production in 1984; it was soon converting 3.4 million tons of phosphate per year into fertilizer. As the Al Qaim operation came onstream, Iraq became self-sufficient in fertilizer, and three-quarters of the plant's output was exported. Iranian attacks on Iraqi fertilizer plants in the Basra area, however, cut Iraq's surplus. In 1986 Iraq obtained a US$10 million loan from the Islamic Development Bank to import urea fertilizer, and in 1987 Iraq continued to import fertilizer as an emergency measure. Meanwhile, additional fertilizer plants were under construction in 1987 at Shuwairah, near Mosul, and at Baiji. Their completion would bring to five the number of Iraqi fertilizer plants and would increase exports considerably.

During the 1990s Iraqi phosphate production was estimated at one millions tons Gross weight annually, with 300,000 tons of P2O5.

On 02 September 2002, Iraq opened to reporters another facility it said the West suspected of being an arms site. The tour for the news media was the latest in a series as part of a campaign by Baghdad to repudiate U.S. allegations that it is stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. Reporters were flown by helicopter to a site at al Qaim, accompanied by Hussam Mohammed Amin, head of the Iraqi National Monitoring Directorate, the office used for liaison with UN inspectors. The reporters were shown a uranium extraction plant destroyed during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The floor was littered with empty and damaged barrels and heaps of twisted iron bars and concrete slabs. Debris was removed from the plant, built in the 1980s, under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.


Al Qaim Plant

Al Qaim Plant


Al Qaim Plant


Al Qaim Superphosphate
Fertilizer Plant, Iraq

Al Qaim Superphosphate
Fertilizer Plant, Iraq

Al Qaim Superphosphate
Fertilizer Plant, Iraq

Al Qaim Superphosphate
Fertilizer Plant, Iraq

Al Qaim Superphosphate
Fertilizer Plant, Iraq

Al Qaim Superphosphate
Fertilizer Plant, Iraq


Source: Oct. 8, 2002, DoD Briefing on Iraqi Denial and Deception




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