The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is proud to host a Directors' Lunch on "The Bomb In My Garden: The Secrets of Saddam's Nuclear Mastermind" with Mahdi Obeidi, Former Director General of Iraq's Ministry of Military Industrialization under Saddam Hussein.

Dr. Obeidi was Saddam Hussein's nuclear mastermind and served as Director General of Iraq's Ministry of Military Industrialization. Obeidi was the Iraqi scientist responsible for developing a gas centrifuge, the most direct and efficient route to enriching uranium. In 2003, after the fall of Baghdad, Dr. Obeidi contacted U.S. personnel and led them to the spot in his backyard garden in Baghdad where he had buried plans and parts for a centrifuge program 12 years earlier after U.N. arms inspectors forced Iraq to close its nuclear weapons program in 1991. These events inspired the title of Dr. Obeidi's acclaimed book "The Bomb in My Garden", which is being adopted for a feature film by Johnny Depp.

The Washington Post stated, "in ‘The Bomb in My Garden: The Secrets of Saddam's Nuclear Mastermind', ...Mahdi Obeidi, describes in jaw-dropping detail how Iraq acquired the means to produce highly enriched uranium, the key ingredient to building a nuclear weapon, by the eve of the first Gulf War. Had Saddam Hussein not made the fatal mistake of invading Kuwait in August 1990, he probably would have possessed a crude atomic bomb by 1992 or 1993, insulating his regime from the threat of foreign invasion."

Prior to this, Dr. Obeidi headed the Uranium diffusion enrichment program, and the the experiments of the French-built Osirak reactor.