Iraq’s Elusive Weapons of Mass Destruction
Chief UN weapons inspector Dr. Hans Blix stated in his parting report to the UN Security Council Thursday, June 5, that the Americans have captured several Iraqi scientists and army officers associated with the Iraq’s chemical, biological and nuclear programs. Yet no revelations had been announced because no banned systems had been discovered.
According to the information reaching DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s intelligence and military sources, the US government has gathered plenty of information from the now completed interrogations of Dr. Rihab Taha – “Dr. Germ” – Head of Iraq’s bioweapons pgoram, and Huda Salih Ammash – anthrax expert and member of the Baath ruling command council. Both cooperated fully with their American interrogators after they were handed over to US forces by Syria. Washington is therefore now in possession of a large amount of data on Saddam Hussein’s forbidden weapons programs, including the places in the Lebanese Beqaa Valley and northern Syria where Iraq’s banned production equipment and substances have been interred.
However, the Bush administration has decided not to bow to public questioning of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The president is resolved to release this information at a time he deems advantageous.
Saddam Hussein’s Cronies Sighted in Libyan Capital
As CIA mechanical shovels delve into bomb sites in Baghdad in search of Saddam Hussein’s remains, DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s Middle East sources report that some of his closest cronies were sighted in the first week of May in Tripoli by a Western agent who happened to be on a mission in the Libyan capital. The encounter on a main street startled the agent who identified three men without whom the deposed Iraqi ruler never goes anywhere. Our sources add that US monitoring agencies have obtained tapes of exchanges between Muammar Qaddafi’s bureau and Saddam’s aides. In those signals, Saddam is warned that if he lands by plane in Libya, he will have to be deported and bound then to be captured by the Americans. He is advised to reach Libya overland, preferably through northern Chad.
Putin Promised Bush to Withhold Nuclear Fuel from Iran
DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s Washington and Moscow sources report that, at their St. Petersburg encounter on June 1, President Vladimir Putin gave President George W. Bush his word not to supply Iran’s nuclear center at Bushehr with fuel unless Tehran undertakes to open up all its nuclear facilities to unannounced inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The agency holds its next meeting in Vienna on June 16.
Putin’s concession to Bush defeats the Iranian strategy of soliciting European support against Washington’s demands while dragging out the international discussions on its case until its nuclear weapons program is too advanced to hold back.
Moscow has been putting out a series of contradictory statements about its intentions on Bushehr to enable the Russians to claim they are not in breach of their contracts with Tehran while at the same time stipulating that Iran stand by its international commitments on nuclear nonproliferation.