Washington, US: Satellite images provided UN investigators with fresh evidence that the Syrian government once worked with A.Q. Khan, the world’s most prolific nuclear weapons merchant. The images revealed that a complex in northwest Syria appears to match Khan’s designs for a uranium enrichment plant that were sold to Moammar Gadhafii’s government in Libya, The Associated Press reported.
The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency also has obtained correspondence between Khan and a Syrian government official, Muhidin Issa, who proposed scientific cooperation and a visit to Khan’s laboratories following Pakistan’s successful nuclear test in 1998.
In a 2007 interview with an Austrian newspaper, Syrian President Bashar Assad acknowledged having received a letter that appeared to have been from Khan, but said his government had not responded and did not meet Khan.
Satellite imagery of the Al-Hasakah complex revealed striking similarities to plans for a uranium enrichment facility that were seized during a Swiss investigation related to Khan. The Swiss were looking into the Tinner family — Urs Tinner, his brother Marco and their father, Friedrich — who are suspected of playing a crucial role in Khan’s smuggling network.