sexta-feira, março 05, 2004
Russian Engineers Reportedly Gave Missile Aid to Iraq
A group of Russian engineers secretly aided Saddam Hussein's long-range ballistic missile program, providing technical assistance for prohibited Iraqi weapons projects even in the years just before the war that ousted him from power, American government officials say.
Iraqis who were involved in the missile work told American investigators that the technicians had not been working for the Russian government, but for a private company. But any such work on Iraq's banned missiles would have violated United Nations sanctions, even as the Security Council sought to enforce them.
Although Iraq ultimately failed to develop and produce long-range ballistic missiles and though even its permitted short-range missile projects were fraught with problems, its missile program is now seen as the main prohibited weapons effort that Iraq continued right up until the war was imminent.
After the first Persian Gulf war in 1991, Iraq was allowed only to keep crude missiles that could travel up to 150 kilometers, or about 90 miles, but the Russian engineers were aiding Baghdad's secret efforts illegally to develop longer-range missiles, according to the American officials.
Because some of the Russian experts were said to have formerly worked for one of Russia's aerospace design centers, which remains closely associated with the state, their work for Iraq has raised questions in Washington about whether Russian government officials knew of their involvement in forbidden missile programs. "Did the Russians really not know what they were doing?" asked one person familiar with the United States intelligence reports
Torna-se cada vez mais claro que os países que se oposurem à invasão do Iraque estavam apenas preocupados com o respeito pela direito internacional.
posted by Miguel Noronha 12:23 da tarde
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