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Full text of "The Israeli aggression against the peaceful nuclear installations in Iraq : statement made by Dr. Sa'adoun Hammadi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq, before the Security Council, 12 June 1981"

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Statement made by 

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq 

Before the Security Council 

12 June 1981 








Statement made by 

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq 

Before the Security Council . 
12 June 1981 




Mr. President: 

Allow me first to express to you, and through you to the 
members of the Security Council, my gratitude for convening this 
meeting and for giving me the opportunity to address the Council 
on the question of the flagrant act of aggression committed by 
Israel against Iraq. 

On .Sunday, 7 June 1981 . at 1837 hours Baghdad local time, 
Israeli warplanes raided the nuclear installations situated near 
Baghdad, causing many civilian casualties and much material 
damage. The Zionist aggressors announced on the following day 
their responsibility for the attack, brazenly claiming the total 
destruction of the installations. 

It is worth recalling that this was not the first attack of its' 
kind carried out by the Zionist aggressor. We believe that Zionist 
warplanes carried out two raids aimed at the same installations 
on 27 September 1980. 

In order to put the Israeli act of aggression in its proper 
perspective, it is necessary to deal with the motives and objectives 
of Zionist policies, and particularly those in the nuclear field. 

It is no longer a secret that the founders of the Zionist entity 
had contemplated from the very beginning the possession of 
nuclear weapons as a means to guarantee the continued exile of 
the Palestinians, and continued expansion over Arab territories 
in order to realize the Zionist dream of a "Greater Israel". 

The Israeli nuclear programme goes back as far as 1949. The 
most important experiments conducted by the Weizman Institute 
in the early 1950s concerned the development of techniques of 
uranium extraction from phosphates in the Negev Desert, as well 
as those relating to the production of heavy water. In 1952 the 
Ben Gurion Government established the Atomic Energy Com- 
mission within the framework of the Ministry of Defense, with a 
separate budget and special laboratories. The existence of that 
Commission was kept secret until 1954. In 1953 a nuclear co- 
operation agreement was concluded with France which marked a 
turning point in the Israeli nuclear programme. The fact remains, 
however, that the United States was the first country to provide 
Israel with a nuclear reactor under an agreement concluded in 
1955 - namely, the reactor at Nahal Sorek, which had a five- 
megawatt capacity. The United States contributed $350,000 
towards the cost of that reactor and provided Israel with a vast 
library of books, studies and reports, as well as six kilograms of 
enriched uranium-235. Furthermore, 56 Israelis were trained in 
American nuclear establishments. Subsequently, Israel obtained 
another American reactor with an eight-megawatt capacity; it 
was installed at the Technion Institute. In 1957 the decision was 
taken to construct the highly secret reactor at Dimona, and in 
1958 a reactor at Rishon Lizion with a five-megawatt capacity 
was constructed in co-operation with the United States. 

The decade of the 1950s also witnessed the provision to Israel 
of nuclear material and technology by the Central Intelligence 
Agency (CIA) and the beginning of co-operation in the nuclear 
field with the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1964 the Dimona 
reactor became operational with a 24-megawatt capacity and a 
possible production of 5 to 7 kilograms of plutonium annually. 
That quantity is sufficient for the production of a nuclear bomb 
with 1.2 times the force of the Hiroshima type. 

It is to be noted that the Dimona reactor was obtained from 
France, and the truth about it was not disclosed until the CIA 
revealed in 1960 that what the Americans were told was a textile 
factory was in fact a nuclear reactor. The New York Times stated 

on 20 December 1960 that the Dimona reactor was "particularly 
well-suited for producing fissionable plutonium used in nuclear 
bombs". The same newspaper reported in its issue of 18 July 1970 
that American experts who had visited the reactor had complain- 
ed in 1969 that there was no guarantee that work relating to ar- 
mament was not being undertaken in Dimona, in view of the 
restrictive procedures imposed by Israel on inspection. 

It is well known that Israel has had a nuclear capability for a 
number of years. As far back as 1969, the Buffalo Evening News 
carried on its front page on 9 May a Reuters report published in 
the West German magazine Der Spiegel stating that Israel had 
become the world's sixth nuclear power and had six Hiroshima- 
type bombs of 20 kilotons, produced at Dimona. 

On 5 December 1974, The New York Times quoted Israeli 
President Ephraim Katzir as saying that Israel "possesses the 
potential to produce atomic weapons" and will do so "if we need 

At the Conference on a Non-Nuclear Future, held at 
Salzburg in May 1977, Paul Leventhal, a former staff nuclear- 
weapons expert for the Senate Government Operation Commit- 
tee of the United States, revealed that 200 tons of natural 
uranium, enough to build 42 nuclear weapons, which had been 
placed on a ship that had disappeared nine years before, had end- 
ed up in Israel. The uranium had been loaded onto a cargo ship 
named The Scheersburg A which had sailed out of Antwerp 
bound for Genoa, where it never arrived. The cargo of The 
Scheersburg A was reported to be capable of keeping a Dimona- 
type reactor operating and producing plutonium for 20 years. 

Shortly after the Salzburg revelation, Norway's former chief 
prosecutor stated that Israeli agent Dan Aerbel had admitted tak- 
ing part in the operation to divert the uranium-laden ship. Aerbel 
had been seized in 1974 by the Norwegians with four other 
members of Israel's Mossad, the Israeli secret service, for the kill- 
ing of a Moroccan national who was mistaken for a Palestinian 
by the Israeli agents at a small town in Norway. 

According to an article published in The Times of London on 
14 August 1980, the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) 

had mistakenly released the text of a five-page secret document in 
1974 which stated categorically that Israel was engaged in a 
nuclear-weapons programme. Part of the uranium was described 
as having been obtained by "clandestine means" which, although 
this was not spelled out, was understood to refer to various raids 
in Europe by squads of underground Mossad agents. The report 
-all but two paragraphs of which would have remained classified, 
had a bureaucratic slip not led to its publication - stated in a key 

We believe that Israel already has produced nuclear 
weapons. Our judgement is based on Israeli acquisition of 
large quantities of uranium, partly by clandestine means, the 
ambiguous nature of Israeli efforts in the field of uranium 
enrichment, and Israel's large investment in a costly missile 
system destined to accommodate nuclear warheads." 
The Times went on to say that recent foreign reports had sug- 
gested that South Africa was now Israel's main partner in a secret 
nuclear-weapons development programme. The article also refer- 
red to a mysterious blast detected off the coast of South Africa in 
September 1979 by an American spy satellite. It also referred to 
the manuscript of a book written by two Israeli journalists entitl- 
ed None Will Survive Us: The Story of the Israeli A-Bomb, which 
contained information to the effect that the said blast was the 
result of a joint nuclear test by Israel and South Africa. The blast 
of September 1979 was followed by another in December of the 
same year, and the second event was recorded by another United 
States satellite. 

The Middle East Magazine, in its issue published in London 
in April 1981 which contained an investigative report on the 

Israel-South Africa nuclear link, states that: 

• » 

"...once again the White House said that the flash was 
'probably not' a nuclear blast and suggested it was a 'micro- 
meteor hit', although scientists say this is likely to occur only 
once in 10 years. Even the CIA is not prepared to accept this a 
second time and has pointed out that, as in the previous inci- 

dent, South African warships were positioned secretly at sea 
just below the flash point." 

The magazine further quotes Marvin Cetron, the Pentagon's 
private weapons analyst, as saying: 

"Were I in the White House, I would try and give as many 
different possible alternatives as could be technically feasible, 
hoping to take off the high probability of its being a nuclear 
explosion. Obviously, it is a cover-up." 

Nor was that the first attempted White-House cover-up of its 
kind. In the mid-1960s the United States Government discovered 
that more than 200 pounds of highly enriched weapons-grade 
uranium, enough for at least four atomic bombs, was missing 
from the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation 
(NUMEC) plant in Apollo, Pennsylvania. In his well- 
documented book The Zionist Connection, Dr. Alfred Lilienthal 
states that: 

"The most serious nuclear safeguards case the United 
States ever faced broke into the open in late February 1978 
when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) released a 
550-page report in response to a House Committee inquiry 
over previous testimony given by NRC Executive Director 
Lee V. Gossick. In revealing that Gossick had 'testified incor- 
rectly', the report confirmed that the CIA had evidence that 
Israel had the atomic bomb by 1968 and that bomb material 
in fact had been diverted from the Apollo plant. Equally im- 
portant to the report was that CIA third-ranking official Carl 
Duckett had informed a closed meeting of the NRC in 1976 
that President Johnson had been told eight years earlier that 
Israel had atomic weapons. The President had told CIA 
Director Richard Helms: 'Don't tell anyone else, not even 
Dean Rusk or Robert McNamara' - then the Secretaries of 
State and Defense respectively." 

The story was broken by The Washington Post in its issue of 2 
March 1978. 

The same Carl Duckett, who is currently a consultant to the 
United States Senate, repeated in an interview broadcast by ABC 
Television on 27 April 1981 that there was a clear consensus in the 
CIA that indeed NUMEC material ha^l been diverted and had 
been used by the Israelis in fabricating weapons. He also con- 
firmed that President Johnson had ordered Director Helms not 
to tell anybody else. Duckett further stated: 

"The key impression to me was that indeed it was taken very 
seriously by the President, and obviously he was very con- 
cerned that we protect that information." 

The above was stated on the ABC News Close-up broadcast over 
the ABC Television Network on Monday, 27 April 1981. 

Iraq has embarked upon a vast and ambitious programme of 
development. In doing so my Government recognized at an early 
stage the importance of science and technology, including the 
peaceful application of nuclear energy, for the achievement of 
social and economic development. Working towards that goal, 
we have made efforts to expand our nuclear-research facilities 
and to widen the scope of the peaceful uses of atomic energy. We 
have also recognized that the development of alternative sources 
of energy is becoming increasingly vital and that the peaceful use 
of atomic energy will be one of the most important alternatives 
for some time to come. 

Despite the basic imbalances and discrimination which are to 
be found in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear 
Weapons, Iraq was one of its first adherents. We signed the Trea- 
ty on 1 July 1968 and ratified it. on 29 October 1969. In 1972 my 
country concluded an agreement with the International Atomic 
Energy Agency for the application of safeguards to all our 
nuclear activities, as required by the Non-Proliferation Treaty. 
On numerous occasions my Government has expressed its convic- 
tion that full and faithful implimentation of the Non- 
Proliferation Treaty would make a major contribution to its twin 
objectives - namely, horizontal and vertical non-proliferation and 
the promotion of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. We at- 
tach special importance to international co-operation in the field 

of the peaceful uses of atomic energy. Besides being a member of 
the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iraq has concluded 
bilateral co-operation agreements with a number of countries. 
With a view toward strengthening and promoting co-operation in 
scientific and technical research, the Iraqi Atomic Energy Com- 
mission has, together with other organizations, sponsored several 
conferences and seminars, with the participation of scientists 
from other countries. 

It can no longer be denied that it is the sovereign right of 
every country to seek knowledge and to pursue the application of 
science and technology, including nuclear technology for 
peaceful purposes, in the interests of economic and social 
development. We firmly believe that the widening gap between 
the developed and the developing countries cannot be narrowed 
without the full utilization of science and technology, including 
the peaceful application of nuclear energy. 
Article IV of the Non-Proliferation Treaty provides as 

1 . "Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting 
the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to 
develop research, production and use of nuclear energy 
for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in 
conformity with articles I and II of this Treaty. 

2. All the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, 
and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible 
exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and 
technological information for the peaceful uses of 
nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do 
so shall also co-operate in contributing alone or 
together with other States or international organizations 
to the further development of the applications of 
nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the 
territories of non-nuclear-weapon States party to the 
Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the 
developing areas of the world. (General Assembly 
resolution 2373 (XXII)" 

Moreover, at the Havana Summit Conference in 1979, the 
non-aligned countries reaffirmed the inalienable right of every 
country to undisturbed and independent development of the 
peaceful uses of atomic energy. A similar position was adopted 
by the Extraordinary Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Islamic 
Countries held in Fez, Morocco, in September 1980. In addition, 
repeated resolutions of the General Assembly have reaffirmed 
that right, subject to appropriate safeguards. 

Israel prepared the ground for its act of aggression by a vast 
propaganda campaign alleging that Iraq was engaged in a pro- 
gramme of nuclear-weaoons production . The countries which 
had concluded co-operation agreements with Iraq were denounc- 
ed and vilified. The severity of the campaign prompted Mr. Jean 
Francois-Poncet, the then Foreign Minister of France, to ques- 
tion the reasons for such a campaign. He recalled that Iraq was, 
after all, the thirty-fifth country to buy a nuclear research reac- 
tor. There were 34 other countries which had imported 78 atomic 
reactors for such purposes, working with enriched uranium. 
Most of the reactors were of American construction. The coun- 
tries included South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines, 
Zaire and so on. The French Government also issued a statement 
on 29 July 1980 which expressed astonishment at the fabricated 
accusations being levelled against it for its co-operation with 
Iraq. The statement pointed out Iraq's right, together with that of 
all other States, to utilize nuclear energy for peaceful purposes 
and found no basis upon which Iraq could be prevented from ex- 
ercising that right. In conclusion, the statement reaffirmed that 
the co-operation of the French Government with Iraq was carried 
out with perfectly legitimate objectives and was covered by all the 
necessary safeguards. 

The Zionist campaign did not stop at that. There were acts of 
terrorism, sabotage, international piracy and physical liquidation 
carried out by Zionist undercover agents in order to obstruct 
Iraq's peaceful nuclear programme. 

The motives behind the Zionist campaign and aggression 
against Iraq are, first, the desire to cover up Israel's possession of 


nuclear weapons and secondly and more importantly, the deter- 
mination not to allow the Arab Nation to acquire the scientific or 
technical knowledge necessary for their development and pro- 
gress. The Zionists believe that they can thus impose their diktat 

on the Arab Nation. The more the Arabs advance in their scien- 
tific knowledge, the weaker th e Zionist chances o f maintaining 
their occupation of Arab terr itories and their denial of the in- 
alienable rights of tfr Palestinian popple, 

It is evident that the jsrael nuclear programme has been 
geared to military purposes^ from its very inception and that all 
sorts of illegal mean s have been employed for its enhancement, in 
total violation of internationally accepted standards. Despite the 
repeated calls upon Israel to accede to the Non-Proliferation 
Treaty (NPT), it has bluntly refused to do so. Iraq, in contrast, 
by accepting the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, has fully 
subscribed to those standards in its nuclear programme. In that 
context, I should like to quote the following from the statement 
made by the Director-General of the International Atomic 
Energy Agency (IAEA) at the opening meeting of that Agency's 
Board of Governors on 9 June 1981: 

"Iraq has been a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty since 
it came into force in 1970. In accordance with that Treaty, 
Iraq accepts Agency safeguards on all its nuclear activities. 
These safeguards have been satisfactorily applied to date, in- 
cluding during the recent period of armed conflict with Iran. 
The last safeguard inspection at the Iraqi nuclear centre took 
place in January of this year and all nuclear material there 
was satisfactorily accounted for. This material included the 
fuel so far delivered for the Tammuz reactors." 
Iraq, being mindful of the danger posed to international 
peace and security by the Israeli armament programmes, has 
taken the initiative since the convening of the special session of 
the General Assembly on disarmament in 1978, in bringing to the 
attention of the world the dangers of those Israeli programmes. 
The General Assembly, at its thirty-third session, adopted a 
resolution sponsored by 36 States Members of the Organization 

entitled "Military and Nuclear Collaboration with Israel". The se- 
cond paragraph of that resolution requested the Security Council 
in particular to call upon all States under Chapter VII of the 
Charter and irrespective of any existing contracts: 

(a) to refrain from any supply of arms, ammunition, 
military equipment or vehicles, or spare parts thereof, 
to Israel, without any exception; 

(b) to ensure that such supplies do not reach Israel through 
other parties; 

(c) to end all transfer of nuclear equipment or fissionable 
material or technology to Israel. (General Assembly 
resolution 33/71 A, para. 2) 

The resolution further requested the Security Council to establish 
machinery for the supervision and implementation of the 
measures referred to in the paragraph just quoted. 

During the thirty-fourth session of the General Assembly, 
Iraq, supported by 25 other States Members of the Organization, 
inscribed an item on the agenda entitled "Israeli nuclear arma- 
ment". The Assembly adopted resolution 34/89, in which it call- 
ed upon Israel to submit all its nuclear facilities to inspection by 
the International Atomic Energy Agency. It also strongly con- 
demned any attempt on the part of Israel to manufacture, ac- 
quire, store, test or introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle 
East. It further requested the Security Council to adopt ap- 
propriate measures to ensure the implementation of the relevant 
resolutions concerning Israeli nuclear armament. 

Furthermore, Iraq has actively supported the initiatives taken 
in the General Assembly concerning the establishment of nuclear- 
weapon-free zones, particularly in the Middle East and in the In- 
dian Ocean. 

The attack carried out by Israel against Iraq in clearly an act 
of aggression in accordance with the provisions of the Charter as 
expounded on in the definition of aggression in resolution 3314 
(XXIX) of the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly. 
The Is raeli allegation that it acted in legitimate self-defense is. 
totally unfounded^ in fact and in law. 


The Israeli act of aggression is a severe blow to the interna- 
tionally accepted system for the use of atomic energy for peaceful 
purposes. The Director-General of the International Atomic 
Energy Agency, in his statement to the Board of Governors, 
which I referred to earlier, said: 

"This attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor is a serious develop- 
ment with far-reaching implications. The Agency's 
safeguards system is a basic element of the Non-Proliferation 
Treaty. During my long time here, I do not think we have 
been faced with a more serious question than the implications 
of this development. The Agency has inspected the Iraqi reac- 
tors and has not found evidence of any activity not in accor- 
dance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty. A non-NPT coun- 
try has evidently not felt assured by our findings and about 
our ability to continue to discharge our safeguarding respon- 
sibilities effectively. From a point of principle, one can only 
conclude that it is the Agency's safeguards regime which has 
also been attacked. Where would this lead us in the future? 
This is a matter of grave concern which should be pondered 

Iraq had already warned the Security Council in a letter 
distributed in document S/ 14073 and dated 29 July 1980 that the 
Zionist campaign against Iraq was a prelude to an air strike 
against the Iraqi nuclear reactor , as Israel had in its possession 
American-manufactured aerop lanes with a range th at enabled it 
tnjitrU£ p yvit-hin Tragi tprritory This Zionist act of aggression 

against Iraq constitutes a qualitative change in the aggressor's 
policy in the area. It is a clear indication of the determination of 
the Zionists, after the failure of Camp David, to escalate their 
provocations with acts of armed aggression prior to launching a 
full-scale war in order to subjugate the Arab countries and to im- 
pose full Zionist domination over the whole Middle East. 

In conclusion, I should like once again to emphasize that the 
Israeli attack against my country is a clear-cut act of 
premeditated aggression. The whole world has recognized that 
fact. The elaborate preparations that preceded the commission of 


that act were fully described by the Prime Minister of Israel and 
other Israeli leaders in their press conference held in Tel Aviv on 
10 June. What is worse is that Begin stated categorically at that 
press conference that, if Iraq tried to rebuild the reactor, Israel 
would do all it can to destroy it again. 

Faced with this grave situation, the Security Council cannot, 
in our opinion, limit itself to a mere condemnation of this act of 
Israeli aggression. The Council should reaffirm the right of all 
States to develop nuclear programmes for peaceful purposes. 
Mandatory sanctions in accordance with the provisions of 
Chapter VII of the Charter should be imposed upon Israel to 
remove the grave menace to international peace and security pos- 
ed by its actions. Israeli lawlessness should be brought to an end. 
The Security Council must decide that all States - and especially 
the _I_Jnited States of America - shall, under Chapter VII of the 
rv^Tpr rpfrav^frpm providing Israel with any military material 
or technica l co-o peration or assistance which migh t encourage it 
to pursue it* p ol icy nf pvp^drm and np^rp^inn. Something more 
than condemnation should take place if we really want to have a 
world of law rather than a world of blind force. In addition, the 
Security Council should, in the interest of peace and stability in 
the Middle East, demand that all Israeli nuclear installations be 
opened to inspection, and subject to the safeguards system of the 


There should be very little doubt, especially among the 
members of the Council, that Israel's real target on Sunday, 7 
June 1981, was not merely our peaceful nuclear installations. The 
Zionists and their friends were actually aiming at Iraq's crucial 
r ole in rallying the Arab nations against th e Camp David con- 
spiracy , in making a real contribution towards strengthening the 
world of Islam and the Non-aligned Movement, and in being the 
vanguard of the fight against colonialism, racism including 
Zionism, and all other forms of domination. They want to under- 
mine the new Iraq and all that it stands for. That target is in-