Assad: I turned down nukes

Syrian president says he received proposal from purported Pakistani weapons smugglers.

December 19, 2007 15:06
1 minute read.
Assad: I turned down nukes

Assad 224.88. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Syrian President Bashar Assad turned down an offer to buy nuclear missiles from Pakistani weapons smugglers in 2001, he was quoted as saying Wednesday. In an interview with the Austrian newspaper Die Presse, Assad said that the smugglers introduced themselves as envoys of Abdul Qadeer Khan, considered the father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. In 2004, Khan confessed to selling nuclear technology and secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea and has since been under house arrest in Islamabad. Khan was spared a more severe punishment after the Pakistani government prevented US investigators from directly interrogating him. "In 2001, we received a letter from a man introducing himself as Khan. We do not know if the letter was genuine or if it was an Israeli trap," Assad was quoted as saying by the Austrian paper. "Anyhow, we rejected the offer. We are not interested in nuclear weapons or a nuclear facility and I never met Khan." Assad also spoke about the IAF strike on an alleged North Korean nuclear facility in Syria. The Syrian president claimed that the target of the air strike was a "military base under construction." "Since it was a military installation, I cannot go into more details but don't come to the conclusion that it was a nuclear facility," said Assad. Assad went onto say: "We could have responded to the IAF strike by firing a missile but it would have given Israel an excuse to start a war and we did not want that." Regarding the Annapolis conference and the subsequent renewal of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Assad said: "We can't talk about reaching a peace accord by 2008 because the US government will be busy with elections. Annapolis was a one-day event but everything will depend on whether events that follow further the aims of the summit."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
May 24, 2019
Rouhani accuses ‘Zionists’ of writing US officials’ anti-Iranian speeches