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Unclear PhysicsWhy Iraq and Libya Failed to Build Nuclear Weapons$
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Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702785

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702785.001.0001

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Saddam’s Nuclear Weapons Program, 1981–1987

Saddam’s Nuclear Weapons Program, 1981–1987

(p.71) Chapter 3 Saddam’s Nuclear Weapons Program, 1981–1987
Unclear Physics

Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer

Cornell University Press

This chapter studies the Iraqi nuclear weapons program, which was implemented after the strike on Osirak on June 7, 1981. In the wake of the strike, Saddam Hussein requested Jafar Dhiya Jafar to create the capacity for clandestine, large-scale production of fissile material. This project was planned and executed under Jafar's leadership, with minimal involvement from Saddam. A group of scientists, with Jafar at the helm, was given unprecedented autonomy in managing the program. Over the next few years, they encountered difficulties and mounting delays, leading to a crisis in 1987 when Jafar and his colleagues realized that the program was failing to meet its objectives.

Keywords:   Jafar Dhiya Jafar, Osirak, Saddam Hussein, nuclear weapons program, Iraq, fissile material

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