Osirak Foreshadowing: 1981 State Dept Edition

From “the same”:http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nukevault/ebb377/ National Security Archives trove, comes “this”:https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/347018-doc-5-4-9-81-state-dept-draft-paper.html April 1981 State Dept paper about nuclear proliferation.

There’s a lot there, but for now, I’ll highlight this passage about a possible Iraqi nuclear weapons program:

bq. Iraq is a current example of this process. It is an NPT party,
and we have no direct evidence that it intends to develop a nuclear
explosive option. However, the fact that it is acquiring (generally
safeguarded) sensitive technology and equipment in the absence of a nuclear power program, when taken with its petroleum reserves, which cast doubt on the need for nuclear power for development for the foresee- able future, and its radical political orientation, has begun the same kind of regional and international counter reaction that would be expected if its imminent intention to proliferate were established. As could be predicted, the reaction has been strongest from Israel – then state with the greatest political/security concern over an incipient Iraqi explosive capability, and secondarily from ourselves as guarantors of Israeli security. *Long before Iraq is actually capable of a nuclear explosion we may have an Israeli counter action that poses grave regional problems.*

That was quite an observation, given “the events”:http://www.iilj.org/courses/documents/TheOsirakAttack.pdf which occurred about 2 months after the report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *