A.Q. Khan: The death of a nuclear salesman

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Joe Cirincione

“Abdul Qadeer Khan, who died October 10 at the age of 85 from Covid complications, was the self-proclaimed father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb. … The entire operation relied on Khan’s massive smuggling program. He clandestinely brought in key technology from a dozen countries, including the import of an entire facility from West Germany for producing uranium hexafluoride, the gas fed into the centrifuges. With his help, by 1985 Pakistan was capable of producing highly-enriched uranium, despite repeated promises by the government that it would never do so. It was likely able to build a bomb by 1987. … With Pakistan’s nuclear program now out in the open, Khan began to run his smuggling operation in reverse, exporting nuclear technology and expertise to other countries. … For at least twelve years, Khan led this smuggling ring, netting more than $100 million from Libya alone.” (10/11/21)