Iraqi Scientists: No WMD Program

Iraq, Biological Warfare, Weapons, Nerve Gas, Anthrax, War
CBS
Iraqi scientists interviewed by the U.S. deny that Saddam Hussein had restarted his nuclear weapons program or secretly developed chemical and biological weapons since U.N. weapons inspectors left the nation in 1998, the Washington Post reports.

The newspaper said interviews with four senior scientists and more than a dozen lower-level scientists have failed to yield any evidence to support the U.S. contention that Saddam was developing weapons of mass destruction.

The best known of these researchers, nuclear scientist Mahdi Obeidi, dug up parts and plans for a gas centrifuge that he buried in 1991 following the first Gulf War.

But Obeidi also told U.S. investigators that Saddam's nuclear program had been dormant for years and that aluminum tubes purchased by Iraq were for use on rockets and not the development of a nuclear weapon, as the U.S. claimed.

In a related development, the man who is spearheading the search for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction is giving Congress an update on the hunt.

Former U.N. weapons inspector Dr. David Kay will meet with senators behind closed doors on Thursday to brief them on the search for the illegal weapons. He's already talked with President Bush, who says it will take time to analyze the "miles of documents" that have been recovered.

The president told a news conference Wednesday that Kay's analysis involves not only the weapons program, but also links to terrorist groups.

The president acknowledged the search will "take awhile," but said he had no doubt "the truth will come out" about the weapons program.