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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 17, 1979

MEMORANDUM, SHIGEAKI UEKI, BRAZILIAN MINISTER OF ENERGY ON NUCLEAR ENERGY COOPERATION WITH IRAQ

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Minister of Mines and Energy, Shigeaki Ueki, reports to the Secretary-General of the National Security Council, General Gustavo Rego Reis, and to the Foreign Minister, Azeredo da Silveira, the requests made by Iraqi officials in 1978 and the stage of negotiations on the subject. He emphasizes the high value placed by Iraq on the matter and the increased relevance of Iraq as an oil-supplier and recommends that Brazil should satisfy Iraq’s demand.
    "Memorandum, Shigeaki Ueki, Brazilian Minister of Energy on Nuclear Energy Cooperation with Iraq," January 17, 1979, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, CPDOC Archives, PNB pn a 1978.07.13 pp.22-27. Obtained and translated by Fundação Getúlio Vargas. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116867
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Aviso no. 028/79   - Confidential                                      January 17 1979

Mr. Minister,

I have the honor to address Your Excellency with regard to cooperation with Iraq in field of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

During the negotiations that resulted in the contract of services with Mendes Junior company, in Iraq, Minister Angelo Calmon de Sá, who led those negotiations, received a request for the Brazilian Government to provide technical collaboration in the nuclear field in that country.

On July 8 last the Vice-President of the Nuclear Energy Commission of Iraq, Dr. Al-Hashimi, was in Rio de Janeiro, at NUCLEBRÁS, and Ambassador Paulo Nogueira Batista, President of that company, reports the meeting as follows:

“On that occasion I said that NUCLEBRÁS would be ready to consider cooperation in the area of technological research and formation and training as well as in the area of rendering project engineering services, component manufacture, including nuclear vapor generating system and, in the medium run, industrial services in the field of nuclear fuel.

To His Excellency

General Gustavo Moraes Rego Reis

Minister of State, Secretary-General of the National Security Council

I clarified that the cooperation could be strictly bilateral in the case of the area of technological research and personnel and that it could be tripartite, to include, directly or indirectly, our partners in the Brazilian nuclear program.

I made a general report in view of the information I had received about the political interest  from high level officials of that friendly country and taking into account the current international tender in Iraq for the purchase of a 600 MW power reactor, in which Kraftwerk Union is a bidder.

My interlocutor showed, at first sight, more interest for cooperation in the field of technological research, mentioning the possibilities of exchanges that would exist with the construction, now taking place in his country, of a reactor for the test of materials, purchased from France, a very sophisticated piece of equipment that he admitted to be over-dimension for the present stage of the respective nuclear program.  He promised to send an informal proposal for a visiting program by a technical mission which would discuss with our personnel the basis for a program of work. He implied that perhaps we should wait for a formalization at the diplomatic level before proposing such a mission.

Our German partners, who were consulted on this issue at the technical-commercial level, were receptive to Brazilian cooperation with said country, and admitted eventual Brazilian direct or indirect participation in the bid they have already made at the international tender mentioned above.  

On October 15 an Iraqi Government delegation headed by Dr. Al-Hashimi, mentioned above, and composed of Dr. Alkital, member of the Energy Commission, and Dr. Alsharistani, Head of the Chemical Department, arrived in Brazil.

On the 16th, 17th and 18th this Delegation visited NUCLEP, Angra, the Institute of Nuclear Energy (IEN) at Fundão Island, the Usamu Utsomi Mine in Poços  de Caldas and the Center for the Development of Nuclear  Technology (CDTN), in Belo Horizonte, and presented at that occasion a cooperation proposal that is annexed.  

Considering the high interest shown by the Government of Iraq, in particular during the negotiations led by Minister Angelo Calmon de Sá, in that country; our interests regarding oil supply, where Iraq is one of our main suppliers and has not raised difficulties, and also the current crisis in Iran, which may force us to have recourse to other oil suppliers, something that may happen at the same time to other oil importers, I convey to Your Excellency the annexed draft letter, that could be sent to the competent Iraqi Minister as an answer to his collaboration proposal.  

I inform your Excellency that on this date I am sending an Aviso of the same contents to the Minister of External Relations.

I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to Your Excellency the assurances of my high esteem and consideration.

(Signed) Shigeaki Ueki

                Minister of Mines and Energy