- The head of Iraq's pre-1991 centrifuge uranium enrichment program,
Dr. Mahdi Shukur Ubaydi, approached U.S. officials in Baghdad and turned
over a volume of centrifuge documents and components he had hidden in
his garden from inspectors since 1991. Dr. Ubaydi said he was interviewed
by IAEA inspectors - most recently in 2002 - but did not reveal any
- Dr. Ubaydi told us that these items, blue prints and key centrifuge
pieces, represented a complete template for what would be needed to
rebuild a centrifuge uranium enrichment program. He also claimed this
concealment was part of a secret, high-level plan to reconstitute the
nuclear weapons program once sanctions ended.
- This case illustrates the extreme challenge we face in Iraq as we
search for evidence of WMD programs that were designed to elude detection
by international inspectors.
- We are working with Dr. Ubaydi to evaluate the equipment and documents
he provided us.
- We are hopeful that Dr. Ubaydi's example will encourage other Iraqis
with knowledge of Saddam's WMD programs to come forward.