In 1975, Abdul Qadeer Khan – an engineering graduate from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium – stole plans for a uranium enrichment centrifuge from his workplace in the Netherlands. By 1976, he was heading up Pakistan’s nuclear weapons research team.
When Saddam Hussein launched his own effort to develop weapons of mass destruction in the 1990s, it was Rihab Rashid Taha al-Azawi – an alumnus of the University of East Anglia – who took the helm.
With precedents such as these, it is little wonder that when the international community became convinced that the Islamic Republic of Iran was seeking to build the bomb, UN Security Council Resolution 1737 was passed, prohibiting, inter alia, UN member states from allowing Iranian citizens to acquire information or technology which might assist Tehran’s nuclear weapons programme.
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