Rafsanjani: US nuked Iraq in 1991
Fri, 24 Oct 2008
A senior Iranian cleric has urged an inquiry into a report that the US dropped a small nuclear bomb on an area near the Iraq-Iran border.
Speaking at the Friday prayers sermon, former Iranian president and currently Chairman of the Assembly of Experts, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said, "The bomb blast killed many people and spread cancer and other diseases in the area but no news items have been published about it."
Rafsanjani noted that the footage of the attack, which allegedly took place in a region between Iraq's Basra and Iran's border in 1991, was broadcast by an Italian television channel earlier this month.
He said that even though the report has not been officially confirmed, it was expected to receive widespread media coverage but it was censored in the media.
"If it the report turns out to be true, then the US should be asked why it has resorted to such a crime to punish the then-bankrupt Iraqi government," Fars news agency quoted Rafsanjani as saying.
The coalition forces from 34 countries led by the US launched the Persian Gulf War (2 Aug 1990-28 Feb 1991) to return Kuwait to the control of the Emir of Kuwait.
The nuclear bombing Rafsanjani was referring to was based on a claim by US war veteran Jim Brown who said that the US dropped a five-kilotonne nuclear bomb on 27 February 1991, the last day of the first Iraq-US War. Brown made the accusation during an interview included in a 30-minute current affairs report broadcast by Italian state news channel RaiNews24 on October 9.
RaiNews24 says it has conducted an independent inquiry and discovered that "a seismic event took place on that day equal to a five-kilotonne blast", citing as its source the online archives of the International Seismological Center, a non-profit UK-based organisation, as confirmation of its research according to Adnkronos International (AKI).
The documentary included an interview with an Iraqi doctor, Jawad al-Ali, who told RaiNews24 that before the beginning of the first Gulf War in 1989 there were 32 cases of tumours, while in 2002 the number had risen to 600 in the Basra area as reported by AKI on 8 October.
Al-Ali also told RaiNews24 that tumours that used to affect older citizens had started to impact younger children. He then showed alleged photos of the tumours in the documentary.