Jafar Dhia Jafar

Jafar Dhia Jafar (Arabic: جعفر ضياء جعفر‎; born: 1943) is an Iraqi nuclear physicist, former Vice Chairman of the Iraq Atomic Energy Commission, and chief of Iraq's nuclear program. He is widely known as the father of the Iraqi Nuclear Program.

Early lifeEdit

Jafar was born to an Iraqi Shiite family in Baghdad in 1943. His father, Dhia, was personally connected to King Faisal II and served as his government's finance minister. On assignment to the UK, Dhia learnt of the 1958 coup that toppled the Iraqi monarchy. He opted to settle in the United Kingdom, where his son Jafar was educated and trained.[1]

Education and TrainingEdit

Jafar earned a baccalaureate and a PhD degree in physics from the University of Birmingham. He then completed a doctorate at Manchester in 1965. His first job was as an associate researcher at the Institute for Nuclear Physics in London University’s Imperial College.[1][2]

Work in IraqEdit

After unsuccessfully applying to a professorship position at Imperial College, Jafar located with his family to Iraq. He was recruited by the Iraqi government to work on the budding Iraqi nuclear program, and its new reactor: OSIRAK reactor. Jafar quickly rose to become Vice Chairman of the Iraq Atomic Energy Commission.[1]

After the arrest of Hussain al-Shahristani, another Iraqi nuclear scientist by authorities on suspicions of aiding Israel in its operations against Iraq's program, Jafar attempted to vouch for him. This landed Jafar in prison.

After being freed from prison, Jafar returned to lead the Iraqi nuclear program in 1982 after Operation Opera.[3]

War and aftermathEdit

After the war, Jafar has repeatedly insisted that Iraqi WMD's were destroyed in 1991 and that Iraq did not attempt to restart its program after that date.


  1. ^ a b c Stone, Richard. "Profile: Jafar Dhia Jafar". Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  2. ^ Windrem, Robert. "A man with a foot in multiple worlds". NBC. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  3. ^ Ignatius, David (2004). "Missed Signals On WMD?". Washington Post. Retrieved 19 June 2013.