Posted by andreas from p3EE3C3C7.dip.t-dialin.net (126.96.36.199) on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 at 8:56AM :
In Reply to: Dishonesty of this so-called dossier posted by andreas from p3EE3C380.dip.t-dialin.net (188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 at 1:43AM :
(AFX-Focus) 2002-09-25 13:38 GMT: IAEA says would have known about missing African uranium for Iraqi bomb
VIENNA (AFX) - The International Atomic Energy Agency said it would have known about any uranium going missing from Africa, calling into question UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's claim that this is how Iraq could have obtained material for a nuclear bomb.
"We have safeguards in Africa on nuclear material and know when it goes missing," IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky.
According to Blair yesterday, Iraq has sought "significant quantities" of uranium from the African continent.
In 1988, Italian police arrested 13 men trying to sell an irradiated fuel rod to the mafia which had been stolen from a nuclear reactor in the Congolese capital Kinshasa.
The Financial Times yesterday quoted nuclear industry sources saying a second uranium fuel rod that went missing from the Kinshasa reactor has never been found.
Gwozdecky said these rods were in any case "low enriched uranium of no use in making a weapon. They would be a poor choice even for a dirty bomb."
"The content of a single fuel element is minuscule, not the significant quantity that is alleged in the Blair dossier," Gwozdecky said.
He said there is very little enriched uranium, the highly reformed type used in making atomic bombs, in Africa. What is exists there is "under safeguards. If it goes missing we know of it in a short amount of time."
He said the safeguards covered the Kinshasa reactor.
Gwozdecky said the IAEA had "no information either way" on reports that members of al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization of Osama bin Laden, had tried to buy uranium from South Africa, which had an advanced program to produce enriched uranium but dismantled its weapons capability in 1991.
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