"Wasn't supposed to have?" Actually Iraq was permitted to have a lot of "nuclear related" materials, including the tons of yellowcake, etc.
True. A lot. But not everything they had.
The IAEA allowed Iraq to retain some unranium at al Tuwaitha - although it's not clear to me they knew Saddam had 500 tons. But Saddam wasn't supposed to have the equipment to enrich it. That's why he ordered his nuke physicist, Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, to bury centrifuge parts in his backyard.
Under the subhead "Losses at Enrichment Site," The Times story also notes that "a manufacturing plant for the uranium enrichment program" had also been looted, and that "The kinds of machinery at the various sites included equipment that could be used to make missile parts, chemical weapons or centrifuges essential for enriching uranium for atom bombs."
If indeed Saddam was permitted to have that stuff, then that's the real scandal. But I doubt he was permitted.
The problem for the Times is, they're sounding the alarm now that all this material has gone missing. In doing so, they're either admitting that Saddam posed a serious WMD threat, or asking the reader to believe that the world was better off when Saddam himself had control of his nuke bombmaking materials.