The Iraqi program was the most advanced in the region, and I want this project to open its doors to Arab scientists to work on it according to specialization, in various fields of agricultural, medical, industrial and other research, according to personalities who worked on the project since its inception.

Many exciting secrets still surround many aspects of the Iraqi nuclear program, which reached its climax during the rule of the late President Saddam Hussein before Israel could destroy it.

Despite the passage of decades since the targeting of that bold Iraqi project, many secrets entrusted to it are still revealed from time to time, the latest of which is the report published by the Israeli newspaper "Haaretz", under the title "A New Era", in which it revealed dozens of secret operations carried out by the Mossad, including By recruiting Arab and foreign agents or targeting them to prevent the construction of the Iraqi "Tammuz" nuclear reactor.

Apart from the controversy surrounding the peacefulness of the Iraqi nuclear program and the extent of its legitimacy, it showed on the other hand the capabilities of Iraqi and Arab scientists and their unique capabilities in this vital field.

Program beginnings

The beginnings of Iraq's knowledge of nuclear technology go back to the royal era, specifically to 1953 when King Faisal II visited the United States and met US President Truman with the aim of establishing strategic relations with Washington.

In order to strengthen these bilateral relations, Washington decided at that time to provide Iraq with a small nuclear reactor for scientific purposes, but the outbreak of the July 1958 revolution prevented the reactor from arriving, according to academic and researcher in modern history, Dr. Faris Turki.

And it shows to Al-Jazeera Net that a new phase in Iraqi foreign policy began after the July revolution and was characterized by the orientation towards the eastern camp, as it was contracted with the Soviet Union at that time to supply Iraq with a nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes, and this reactor was installed in the Tuwaitha area south of Baghdad and entered service in 1967.

He indicates that the Iraqi leadership has sought since the beginning of the seventies to develop and expand Iraq's nuclear capabilities, so it went to France with the aim of obtaining nuclear capacity, and indeed it was agreed with the French side to provide Iraq with two nuclear reactors called "July 1" and "July 2" for peaceful purposes, The value of the contract amounted to 275 million dollars, and Iraq also tried to obtain nuclear expertise from other countries such as Brazil and Canada.

Turki notes that the Iraqi activity and the success in contracting with France aroused fears in Israel, which began drawing up plans and strategies in order to abort the Iraqi program.

Al-Abusi: Most of the competencies and scientists of the Iraqi nuclear program emigrated, and some of them were assassinated (Al-Jazeera Net)

Iraqi capabilities

Iraqi minds have succeeded in achieving great progress towards completing the nuclear project, using its energy for peaceful purposes, and developing related scientific research.

The Iraqi military expert, Major General Alwan Hassoun al-Abusi, says that the Iraqi nuclear team witnessed the formation of a team of Iraqi and Arab scientists to conduct reactance and biotronic calculations and how to distribute fuel in the heart of the reactor, and Iraqi minds had the ability to conduct these complex calculations.

He added to Al-Jazeera Net that the Iraqi scientists showed great ability in the nuclear field, and when working on building the reactor in the Tuwaitha area in the mid-seventies, the works of pouring the foundations and building the reactor basin faced many problems, including groundwater, but the Iraqi engineers were keen to complete the work with the highest specifications, as cracks appeared. light in the wall of the reactor basin, and while the French accepted it, the Iraqi engineer Abdul Rahman Rasool made his observations about the cracks, and work stopped until the cracks were repaired.

Al-Abusi explains that after that, Israel saw the situation as dangerous to it, as the Iraqis possessed various experiences in the engineering and construction work of the reactor, indifferent to Israel's red lines, so Israel assassinated the consulting engineer Rasool in 1980.

Major General Staff adds that a special team was formed coinciding with the start of the strategic plan to construct the reactor, its tasks are the technical research of engineering devices and systems, and the team was headed by Dr. Engineer Salman Rashid Salman, but Israel was afraid of the work of this team, which might compete with the countries that produce advanced scientific equipment. So I poisoned him in Geneva during his scientific visit to the European Research Center "SPREN" in 1981.

Al-Abusi points out that most of the competencies and scientists working in the Iraqi nuclear program have emigrated to various countries of the world, and some of them have been assassinated inside and outside Iraq.

Fadel Al-Janabi stressed that the role of Arab scientists in the Iraqi nuclear program was important, despite their small number (Al-Jazeera Net)

The role of the Arabs

The goal of Iraq at the time was to establish Iraqi scientific cadres, and at the same time for these scientific research centers in Iraq to have paths that are directly connected with Arab scientific institutes or Arab scientists, according to Dr. Fadel Al-Janabi, former head of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission.

Al-Janabi adds - to Al-Jazeera Net - that the role of Arab scientists in the Iraqi nuclear program was important, despite their small number, as they were recruited from Syria, Egypt, Palestine and other Arab countries.

He notes that one of the most prominent Arab scientists who worked in the Iraqi nuclear program was Dr. Yahya al-Mashad, one of the Egyptian scientists. He was a specialist in neutron calculations, one of the eminent scientists, and was assassinated by the Mossad in Paris in 1980, in addition to Dr. Mahmoud from Egypt, his wife Aisha, and Dr. Nabil Nasrallah from Syria, and others.

The former head of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission confirms that nuclear scientists receive risk allowances and many incentives, in addition to giving them the opportunity to attend scientific as well as training conferences.

Al-Janabi expresses his belief that the Iraqi program was the most advanced in the region, and I want this project to open its doors to Arab scientists to work on it according to specialization, in various fields of agricultural, medical, industrial and other research.

And he confirms the occurrence of liquidations and assassinations that included Iraqi and Arab scientists working in the Iraqi nuclear program, and according to statistics, about 3 Arab scientists and more than 125 Iraqi nuclear scientists were killed, in addition to the exposure of many to harassment and pressure because of the nature of their specialization, according to Al-Janabi.

"Haaretz" newspaper reviewed a campaign carried out by the Mossad to thwart and obstruct the Iraqi nuclear project (Al-Jazeera Net)

Israeli moves

Regarding what the Israeli newspapers recently published about the failure of the Israeli intelligence operation to stop the Iraqi nuclear, former Iraqi intelligence officer Salem Al-Jumaili says that the fearful obsession of Israel has always been Iraq, which it places at the forefront of Israeli national security threats for historical and strategic reasons linked to the doctrine of the rule of the Baath Party in Iraq. at that time.

And he adds - to Al-Jazeera Net - that when Israel discovered Iraq's efforts to develop the nuclear industry, it took all methods to destroy the nuclear program and targeted the scientists who supervised it, led by the Egyptian scientist Yahya al-Mashad, then attacked the Tammuz reactor and destroyed it in 1981.

Al-Jumaili reveals that during the UN inspections for the destruction of weapons of mass destruction in the nineties of the last century, the American and Israeli intelligence services were surprised by the progress that Iraq had made in the nuclear field, and how Iraq was able to mislead foreign intelligence services with this force.

He explains that the estimates of the American intelligence community in 1989 suggested that Iraq would not be able to develop a nuclear weapon, and this was considered a major failure for the Israeli Mossad and Western intelligence that did not discover these efforts, and from that it can be confirmed that Israel failed to destroy Iraq's capabilities aimed at producing a nuclear weapon.

And he continues, "The other surprise is that the inspection committees did not discover a secret nuclear program and one of the most important nuclear manufacturing facilities in the Tarmiya district, north of Baghdad, until 1995, after dissident Lieutenant General Hussein Kamel revealed the documents related to the facility and the nuclear program when he announced in Amman that it was stored in a field." Poultry in the Essaouira area in Wasit, which destroyed Iraq's credibility and brought it back to square one.

Al-Jumaili: Israel took all methods to destroy the Iraqi program after discovering efforts to develop the nuclear industry (Al-Jazeera Net)

For his part, security and strategic expert Fadel Abu Ragheef confirms that the beginnings of the Iraqi nuclear program preceded the advent of the Baathist regime, but the real work began in 1979, when the nuclear reactor was erected, so that Israel began operations targeting the Iraqi program and bombing the nuclear reactor in the early eighties, and carrying out a series of assassinations that targeted Iraqi and Arab nuclear physicists.

Abu Ragheef lists - for Al-Jazeera Net - the most prominent Iraqi scientists in the Iraqi nuclear program, and they are: Khaled Al-Saeed, Salman Al-Lami, Dhafer Salbi and Diaa Jaafar, pointing out that these had a major role.

He expresses his belief that Iraq has an industrial and oil power and possesses large human resources, which caused concern for the Mossad and prompted it to target the program and those in charge of it.