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Rebuilding Iraq

Powell's evidence
Biological and chemical weaponry
Nuclear capabilities
Conventional weapons
Links to terrorism


Nuclear capabilities

Iraq has continually denied having a nuclear weapons program, but information from defectors proves otherwise. Iraq has two of three key components to build a nuclear bomb a cadre of nuclear scientists and a bomb design. Since 1998, Saddam Hussein has been trying to acquire the final component, fissile material, to create a nuclear explosion.

  • To create fissile material, Iraq has to develop ways to enrich uranium and is alleged to be acquiring techniques such as electromagnetic isotope separation, gas centrifuge, and gas diffusion.

  • Iraq has tried repeatedly to acquire high-specification aluminum tubes from 11 countries, even after inspections resumed. The aluminum tubes are banned for Iraq.

    Aluminum tube that can be used for enriching uranium

    Experts who have examined the aluminum tubes (above) that were seized before they reached Baghdad agree that the tubes were intended to serve as rotors in gas centrifuges to enrich uranium.

    Other experts and the Iraqis argue that they are for producing rocket bodies for a conventional weapon, although the specifications exceed US requirements for comparable rockets.

    Between 1999 and 2002, Iraqi officials have tried to buy a magnet production plant and machines for balancing gas centrifuge rotors.