Iraqi scientist denies giving UN secrets (BBC) 12/28/02 14:38 GMT)
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An Iraqi scientist interviewed by United Nations weapons inspectors
has denied providing them with details about a possible Iraqi nuclear
Dr Kazem Mijbil, a metallurgist, said the comments by the inspectors
were grossly exaggerated.
He was speaking after the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and
Inspection Committee (Unmovic) said Dr Mijbil had provided useful
information about a military programme.
"I strongly deny this," Dr Mijbil told reporters in Baghdad. "Frankly
I´m very disturbed... over these statements because they don´t relate
Dr Mijbil was the second Iraqi scientist to be interviewed in
connection with the UN inspectors´ search for evidence that Iraq is
developing weapons of mass destruction, banned by the UN.
The scientist said he was a "simple metallurgist" who was involved
in "cleaning" aluminium piping used in the production of short range
missiles, permitted by UN resolutions.
The United States and Britain have warned that aluminium piping can
be used to enrich uranium as part of an illicit nuclear programme.
On Friday, Unmovic spokesman Hiro Ueki said Dr Mijbil provided
information which could be linked to a "clandestine nuclear
But the scientist told a news conference on Saturday he was "very
annoyed" by Mr Ueki´s comments.
"Does cleaning an aluminium tube from corrosion with basic
chemicals... lead to a secret programme?" he asked.
Dr Mijbil warned against plans by UN experts to interview Iraqi
scientists outside of Iraq.
"What will be the situation when anybody, not myself, any other
scientist, will be interviewed abroad?
"I think there will be a lot of misunderstandings, lots of
provocations, lots of lies," he said.
Under UN Security Council Resolution 1441, weapons experts are to be
allowed to interview scientists inside or outside Iraq, with or
without an Iraqi Government official present.
Iraq has until the end of this month to provide the UN with a
complete list of scientists involved in current of former programmes
to develop weapons of mass destruction.
Baghdad, which has admitted to pursuing such programmes in the past,
insists it is no longer developing banned weapons.
Last week, Iraq´s chief liaison officer with the UN inspectors,
General Hossam Mohammad Amin, said the teams had visited 188 sites
but had found no incriminating evidence. (BBC.CO.UK 12/28/02)
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