France sold Iraq a nuclear reactor in the mid 70's?!

So I’m re-reading The Fist of God by Frederick Forsyth. It’s a great book, and I decided to reread because it is about the first Gulf War, and it seemed appropriate. It is historical fiction; most of the stats are true, at least I think so. So I come across this paragraph:

This can be found on page 180.

That seems pretty damn interesting to me. I was wondering if this is true. If so, why hasn’t the U.S. used this against France? I would think that’d be a nail in the heart against the anti-war movement. At least for France. Of course, this doesn’t prove that Iraq actually had nukes, just that they had a reactor. Maybe Freddy fabricated this, I’d really like to hear the truth.

This book has a ton of other info on their other weapons projects; it’s actually quite fascinating and appropriate for these times. And it has a great story, too.

France sold and helped build a nuclear reactor at Osirak in Iraq, against the wishes of the world.

Just before the reactor went online, Israeli jets bombed it. Israel took a lot of heat on the world stage for that, but today I think everyone is glad that they did it.

As a sad footnote, the Israeli astronaut who was killed in the Columbia tragedy was one of the pilots who flew that bombing mission.

There is now evidence that France has violated U.N. sanctions against Iraq and has been helping Iraq re-arm, as recently as December of this year.

Actually, I have heard this point raised recently on a number of T.V. and radio news shows. France does a lot of business with Iraq. As recently as January 2003 they sold Iraq parts for their fighter planes. Thomas Friedman (New York Times) commented that after all, Iraq is sitting on a major source of gas and oil. What do they need a nuclear reactor for? Certainly not as a source of energy. Interesting that so many people believe the U.S.A. is mercenary and only in it for the money.

Ok, sorry for rushing my post, but I just googled and also found a site on this.

So, why hasn’t France been labeled a hypocrite? Why would other countries back them up? I’ve never heard this on any news network, at least. I think more people should know about this (and Bush and co. should let it be known if they want more support).

Maybe this is better off in Great Debates.

France has more than 30 billion dollars in oil contracts with Iraq, and the terms are heavily weighted in France’s favor. This helps explain France’s otherwise inexplicable opposition to U.S. action. Because if there is a new elected government in Iraq, it will no doubt want to re-negotiate all those agreements.

Guys, France is not the only country to have done Iraq favors, either in the recent or not-so-recent past.

Remember when Iran was the bad guy? We did quite a bit of business in Iraq at that time.

France brokers Iraqi oil. This is no secret, so does Germany. And China sells them weapons systems.

But we helped too, just not lately.

You’re correct that France sold Iraq a nuclear reactor; I saw it on the History channel the other night. They also talked about how important it was that Israel bombed the building it was in, because had they not, it is very likely that Iraq would have refined nuclear material by now. I wasn’t aware that the Israeli astronaut was among those who bombed the building, though, that is quite interesting.

I’ve heard the Osirak reactor referred to before as “Oh-Chirac.”

That is because Chirac was the Frenchman that arranged for the sale of the reactor to Iraq. Saddam visited France as Chirac’s guest and they got along so well that the Iraqi people referred to the Frenchman as “Shah Iraq”.

[ul]:stuck_out_tongue: [sup]Believe It Or Not![/sup][/ul]

Let’s not forget that during the 1980’s when Iraq invaded Iran, the US government provided support to Saddam Hussein in that conflict even though they knew he was using Chemical Weapons. Then 10 years later the US was selling guns to Iran which just doubles the hypocrisy - so let’s not get into the blame game.

While I won’t disagree on the facts, and would be an idiot to disagree that it doesn’t paint the current French leadership in a positive light, I’m not sure how it would undermine other valid objections to war.

I think a few countries have been getting in on the Iraq gig over the years, hell just the other day on the BBC I saw a report about one of the major weapons manufacturing plants in Iraq being funded and built by a UK company. It’s just one big Six Degress Of…

So France’s former policies can be criticized for not being in line with the US’s current policy? I don’t see why other nations have to kowtow to what winds currently blow thru the Whitehouse, let alone be psychic.

Other countries do things differently from the US. Fact of life.

Let’s not forget America selling arms to Iran, what are they not a terrorist country like Iraq? And to this day I still think Bin Laden is in Iran.

And of course, the inspiration for the Iraqi Supergun was from one of those war mongering Canadians. With parts supplied from the UK, Germany and other places.

Oh let’s! :wink:

Sorry, but there is a huge difference between the US selling Iraq arms to counter Iran, and France selling them a freakin’ nuclear reactor. They also sold them Mirage fighters.

And while hindsight is always 20/20 our past dealings with Saddam were part of the overall cold war strategy. France did it for money, plain and simple.

The Israeli attack on the nuke plant is legendary. I believe it was a group of F-16s. While on route they were challenged by (I think) a Syrian air traffic controller and they fooled them because one of the Israeli pilots spoke perfect arabic.