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Report: Syria Used Pakistani Nuke Ties to Build Plant

The ”father of Pakistan’s atom bomb” worked with Damascus build a nuclear site in northern Syria, new evidence shows.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/1/2011, 10:33 AM

The ”father of Pakistan’s atom bomb” worked with Damascus build a nuclear site in northern Syria, according to new evidence uncovered by the Associated Press.

The news agency said that Syria built a previously unknown complex that matched the design of a uranium enrichment plant that Libya's former dictator Muammar Qaddafi intended to build with the help of A. Q. Khan, who pioneered the atomic bomb in Pakistan

Libya renounced its secret nuclear program in 2003 after it already had ordered 1,000 gas centrifuges from Khan.

The newly uncovered site in northwest Syria was eventually used for textiles after Israel bombed another facility, being built in eastern Syria with the help of North Korea, four years ago.

Correspondence between Khan and Syrian official Muhidin Issa was obtained by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, according to AP. Issa proposed scientific cooperation and a visit to Khan's laboratories after Pakistan successful conducted a nuclear test in 1998.

The newly discovered Syrian site never was used to produce plutonium or uranium, probably because of Israel’s bombing of the other plant. However, Syria’s intentions are important to know, Mark Hibbs, an analyst at the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who has spoken to IAEA officials, told AP.

Khan supplied Iran with knowledge for its established uranium enrichment program that already has manufactured enough material to manufacture nuclear bombs.