|Israel Resource Review
||20th December, 2002
Leaked Report Says German and
US Firms Supplied Arms to Saddam
Baghdad's uncensored report to UN names Western companies alleged to have developed its weapons of mass destruction.
Iraq's 11,000-page report to the UN Security Council lists 150 foreign companies, including some from America, Britain, Germany and France, that supported Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction programme, a German newspaper said yesterday.
Berlin's left-wing Die Tageszeitung newspaper said it had seen a copy of the original Iraqi dossier which was vetted for sensitive information by US officials before being handed to the five permanent Security Council members two weeks ago. An edited version was passed to the remaining 10 members of the Security Council last night.
British officials said the list of companies appeared to be accurate. Eighty German firms and 24 US companies are reported to have supplied Iraq with equipment and know-how for its weapons programmes from 1975 onwards and in some cases support for Baghdad's conventional arms programme had continued until last year.
It is not known who leaked the report, but it could have come from Iraq. Baghdad is keen to embarrass the US and its allies by showing the close involvement of US, German, British and French firms in helping Iraq develop its weapons of mass destruction when the country was a bulwark against the much feared spread of Iranian revolutionary fervour to the Arab world.
The list contained the names of long-established German firms such as Siemens as well as US multi-nationals. With government approval, Siemens exported machines used to eliminate kidney stones which have a "dual use" high precision switch used to detonate nuclear bombs. Ten French companies were also named along with a number of Swiss and Chinese firms. The newspaper said a number of British companies were cited, but did not name them.
"From about 1975 onwards, these companies are shown to have supplied entire complexes, building elements, basic materials and technical know-how for Saddam Hussein's programme to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction," the newspaper said. "They also supplied rockets and complete conventional weapons systems," it added.
The five permanent members of the Security Council --
the United States, Britain, Russia, France and China --
have repeatedly opposed revealing the extent of foreign companies' involvement, although a mass of relevant information was collected by UN weapons inspectors who visited the country between 1991 and 1998. The UN claims that publishing the extent of the companies' involvement in Iraq would jeopardise necessary co-operation with such firms.
German involvement outstripped that of all the other countries put together, the paper said. During the period to 1991, the German authoritiespermitted weapons co-operation with Iraq and in some cases "actively encouraged" it, according to the newspaper which cited German assistance allegedly given to Iraq for the development of poison gas used in the 1988 massacre of Kurds in northern Iraq. It said that after the massacre America reduced its military co-operation with Iraq but German firms continued their activities until the Gulf War.
Die Tageszeitung quoted sources close to the US Vice President, Dick Cheney, as saying the Bush administration was hoping to prove a German company was continuing to co-operate with the Iraqi regime over the supply of equipment allegedly useful in the construction of weapons of mass destruction.
American weapons experts have recently voiced concern that the German Government has permitted Siemens to sell Baghdad at least eight sophisticated medical machines which contain devices that are vital for nuclear weapons. The machines, known as "lithotripters", use ultrasound to destroy kidney stones in patients. However, each machine contains an electronic switch that can be used as a detonator in an atomic bomb, according to US experts. Iraq was reported to have requested an extra 120 switches as "spare parts" during the initial transaction.
The delivery of the machines was approved by the European Commission and the UN because sanctions against Iraq do not apply to medical equipment. Siemens and the German Government have insisted that the machines, which are being used in northern Iraq under a World Health Organisation programme, cannot be used to make nuclear weapons.
This piece ran in the December 18th, 2002 issue of
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U.S. Firms on List Aided Iraq
United Nations Correspondent, Newsday
United Nations -- Iraq's 12,000-page declaration of its weapons programs lists American companies that provided materials used by Baghdad to develop chemical and biological weapons in the 1980s, according to a senior Iraqi official.
The public release of such a list could prove embarrassing for the United States and highlight the extent to which the Reagan and first Bush administrations supported Iraq in its eight-year war with neighboring Iran in the 1980s. U.S. military and financial assistance to Iraq continued until Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in August 1990.
The Iraqi official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, would not name the companies or discuss how much detail the Iraqi declaration gives about them. The official said the American firms are named along with other foreign companies that provided arms and ingredients for making chemical and biological weapons to Iraq.
The declaration, which was submitted to UN weapons inspectors Saturday, was mandated under a new Security Council resolution that requires Iraq to declare and destroy all of its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Iraqi leaders insist they no longer have any such weapons, but the United States and Britain accuse Hussein of continuing with a secret program to develop banned weapons - and have threatened to go to war to disarm Iraq.
Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, said Tuesday that he does not intend to release the names of foreign companies that provided material to Iraq. He said such firms could be valuable to UN inspectors as sources of information about Iraq's weapons program. If the inspectors "were to give the names publicly, then they would never get another foreign supplier to give them any information," Blix said.
A Bush administration official declined to comment on U.S. companies' presence in the declaration, or the potential embarrassment if the list were made public. "The issue is not so much who the suppliers are. The issue is really Iraq's program and making sure that Iraq declares what it has," said the official, who asked not to be named. "We want companies to be able to provide information to the weapons inspectors. It's important to find out what the Iraqis may have received."
Other officials in Washington declined to comment. But U.S. officials have long acknowledged close military collaboration with Iraq while it was at war with Iran, which Washington viewed as a greater threat.
A 1994 report by the Senate Banking Committee concluded that "the United States provided the government of Iraq with 'dual-use' licensed materials which assisted in the development of Iraqi chemical, biological and missile-system programs."
This assistance, according to the report, included "chemical warfare-agent precursors; chemical warfare-agent production facility plans and technical drawings; chemical warfare filling equipment; biological warfare-related materials; missile fabrication equipment and missile system guidance equipment."
There is dissension within the council over the handling of Iraq's declaration. Under a deal quietly worked out over the weekend, the United States received the sole copy of the dossier and supporting material that was intended for the council. Washington then made duplicates for the four other permanent council members: Britain, France, Russia and China. Blix said the other 10 rotating council members will get edited copies of the dossier by Monday, with any information that could help countries develop weapons of mass destruction excised by UN inspectors.
Arms experts say it is likely that companies from all five permanent council members sold materials to Iraq that were used to develop its weapons. "All the permanent five members are probably on the Iraqi supplier list. They all have advanced chemical and biological industries," said Susan Wright, a research scientist at the University of Michigan and co-author of the book "Biological Warfare and Disarmament."
Wright said the release of a supplier list containing American companies would embarrass the United States. "It would bring people's attention to something that the Bush administration would rather forget about: that the United States was a supplier state to Saddam Hussein, even after it became clear that he was producing and using chemical weapons," she said.
At the heart of U.S. and other foreign trade with Iraq in the 1980s were so-called "dual-use" materials, which have both civilian and military applications. Under the new Security Council resolution, Iraq had to account for all its dual-use programs and materials.
The 1994 Senate report found that the United States had licensed dozens of companies to export various materials that helped Iraq make mustard gas, VX nerve agent, anthrax and other biological and chemical weapons. The report also said "the same micro-organisms exported by the United States were identical to those the United Nations inspectors found and recovered from the Iraqi biological warfare program."
Shipments to Iraq continued even after the United States learned Hussein had used chemical weapons against Iranian troops and Kurdish villagers in northern Iraq in 1988, according to Senate investigators.
The U.S.-Iraqi relationship flourished from February 1986, when then-Vice President George Bush met with Iraq's ambassador to Washington, Nizar Hamdoon, and assured him that Baghdad would be permitted to receive more sophisticated U.S. technology, until the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Over that four-year period, the Reagan and Bush administrations approved licenses for the export of more than $600 million worth of advanced American technology to Iraq, according to congressional reports.
"The United States had a very different posture toward Iraq in the 1980s, when it was politically and militarily advantageous to use Iraq as an ally against Iran," Wright said. "Our attitude toward Iraq has been opportunist, rather than principled."
This article appeared on Newsday on
December 13, 2002
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List Of US Firms That Armed
U.S. Corporations, Gov't Agencies and Nuclear Labs Helped
Illegally Arm Iraq
Hewlett Packard, Dupont, Honeywell and other major U.S. corporations, as well as governmental agencies including the Department of Defense and the nation s nuclear labs, all illegally helped Iraq to build its biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs.
On Wednesday, December 18, Geneva-based reporter Andreas Zumach broke the story on the US national listener-sponsored radio and television show Democracy Now! Zumach's Berlin-based paper Die Tageszeitung plans to soon publish a full list of companies and nations who have aided Iraq. The paper first reported on Tuesday that German and U.S. companies had extensive ties to Iraq but didn t list names.
Zumach obtained top-secret portions of Iraq's 12,000-page weapons declaration that the US had redacted from the version made available to the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.
24 major U.S. companies are listed in the report that gave very substantial support especially to the biological weapons program but also to the missile and nuclear weapons program, Zumach said. Pretty much everything was illegal in the case of nuclear and biological weapons. Every form of cooperation and supplies was outlawed in the 1970s.
The list of U.S. corporations listed in Iraq's report include Hewlett Packard, DuPont, Honeywell, Rockwell, Tectronics, Bechtel, International Computer Systems, Unisys, Sperry and TI Coating.
Zumach also said the U.S. Departments of Energy, Defense, Commerce, and Agriculture quietly helped arm Iraq. U.S. government nuclear weapons laboratories Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Sandia trained traveling Iraqi nuclear scientists and gave non-fissile material for construction of a nuclear bomb.
There has never been this kind of comprehensive layout and listing like we have now in the Iraqi report to the Security Council so this is quite new and this is especially new for the U.S. involvement, which has been even more suppressed in the public domain and the U.S. population, Zumach said.
The names of companies were supposed to be top secret. Two weeks ago Iraq provided two copies of its full 12,000-page report, one to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Geneva, and one to the United Nations in New York. Zumach said the U.S. broke an agreement of the Security Council and blackmailed Colombia, which at the time was presiding over the Council, to take possession of the UN s only copy. The U.S. then proceeded to make copies of the report for the other four permanent Security Council nations, Britain, France, Russia and China. Only yesterday did the remaining members of the Security Council receive their copies. By then, all references to foreign companies had been removed.
According to Zumach, only Germany had more business ties to Iraq than the U.S. As many as 80 German companies are also listed in Iraq's report. The paper reported that some German companies continued to do business with Iraq until last year.
US Corporations named in Iraqi Report:
- Spectra Physics
- TI Coating
- Sperry Corp.
- Leybold Vacuum Systems
- Eastman Kodak
- American Type Culture Collection
- Alcolac International
- Carl Zeiss
- Electronic Associates
- International Computer Systems
- EZ Logic Data Systems, Inc.
- Canberra Industries Inc.
- Axel Electronics Inc.
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