Rep. Hunter Warns of Dubai WMD Trade

California Congressman Duncan Hunter, who heads up the House Armed Services Committee, offered new details on Friday about how the port of Dubai was used to transfer "nuclear materials and weapons of mass destruction components" to countries like Iran and Pakistan, calling the track record at the port "terrifying."

In a press release issued Thursday, the conservative Republican complained:

� United Arab Emirates officials and private companies have regularly waived-through or turned a blind eye to the shipment of nuclear triggers to Pakistan and nerve gas precursors to Iran.

� In 2003, over U.S. protests, United Arab Emirates customs officials allowed sixty-six American high-speed electrical switches, which are ideal for detonating nuclear weapons, to be sent to a Pakistani businessman with longstanding ties to the Pakistani military.

� Seventy tons of heavy water, a component for nuclear reactors, were sent from China to Dubai. The shipping labels were then changed to mask the transaction, and sixty tons of the heavy water were forwarded to India, where it enabled the government to use its energy-producing reactors to create plutonium for its atomic weapons program. The other ten tons went to Argentina.
� A Greek intermediary offered Iraq an atomic-bomb design from Dr. A. Q. Khan in Pakistan, with a guarantee that "any requirements or materials" could be bought from Western countries and routed through Dubai.

� Two containers of gas centrifuge parts from Dr. Khan's labs were shipped through Dubai to Iran for about $3 million worth of Untied Arab Emirates currency.

� A Dubai company ordered American-made impregnated alumina - a substance that can be used for making nerve gas ingredients - and tried to pass it along to an Iranian purchasing agent in violation of American export control laws.

Hunter urged: "The United States government must take steps to enhance our security -not create greater vulnerabilities. We must ensure critical U.S. infrastructure remains in U.S. hands."

He concluded: "To those who say my views smack of protectionism, I say: America is worth protecting."

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