16 Words, 500 Tons, 28 Kilograms

Posted by John Rosenthal

This is a picture of Jacques Chirac and Saddam Hussein visiting a nuclear facility in France in 1975.



Chirac was French Prime Minister at the time. Not long after this visit, the French government would cut a deal to provide Iraq the nuclear reactor that became known as "Osirak". What is less known is that the French also agreed to provide highly-enriched, weapons grade uranium to run the reactor. Press reports at the time suggested that "only" 12-13 kg was finally shipped. A prominent French physicist claims that the real amount was more likely 28 kg — more than enough for a nuclear weapon. I look at the evidence — including a 1987 letter from Chirac to Saddam Hussein — in my new article on World Politics Watch "16 Words, 500 Tons and 28 Kilograms: the Iraqi Nuclear Program Revisited".


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