UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of
the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, told the U.N. Security
Council on Thursday that aluminum tubes suspected of being a
part of an Iraqi nuclear arms program were unsuitable for that
ElBaradei, director-general of the Vienna-based
International Atomic Energy Agency, said according to his
speaking notes obtained by Reuters that U.N. arms inspectors in
Iraq had concluded that the tubes "appear to be consistent with
reverse engineering of rockets," as Baghdad has claimed, rather
than for enriching uranium for nuclear arms.
The United States and Britain have raised the alarm in
recent months over alleged attempts by Iraq to buy aluminum
tubes that could be used to process uranium. Iraq denied the
charges and said it had had the tubes since the 1980s.
Copyright 2003 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.