June 26, 2003

CIA Statement on Recently Acquired Iraqi Centrifuge Equipment

  • The head of Iraq’s pre-1991 centrifuge uranium enrichment program, Dr. Mahdi Shukur Ubaydi, approached U.S. officials in Baghdad and turned over a volume of centrifuge documents and components he had hidden in his garden from inspectors since 1991. Dr. Ubaydi said he was interviewed by IAEA inspectors - most recently in 2002 - but did not reveal any of this.
  • Dr. Ubaydi told us that these items, blue prints and key centrifuge pieces, represented a complete template for what would be needed to rebuild a centrifuge uranium enrichment program. He also claimed this concealment was part of a secret, high-level plan to reconstitute the nuclear weapons program once sanctions ended.
  • This case illustrates the extreme challenge we face in Iraq as we search for evidence of WMD programs that were designed to elude detection by international inspectors.
  • We are working with Dr. Ubaydi to evaluate the equipment and documents he provided us.
  • We are hopeful that Dr. Ubaydi’s example will encourage other Iraqis with knowledge of Saddam’s WMD programs to come forward.
Bottom Bearing
Bottom Bearing Support and Cup
Bottom Bearing Support and Cup
Bottom Bearing Support
Complete Engineering drawing of Centrifuge with  Bottom Bearing Support and Cup shown
Engineering Drawing of Upper Centrifuge



Source: CIA