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Copyright © 1994-98, by the Middle East Data Project, Inc. All rights reserved.


Issue Number 47, dated 6/1/98

Russian nuclear cooperation to expand (Serial 4711)

At the same time Russia is coming under increasing fire for transferring missile technology to Iran, the new head of the Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM) pledged to sell nuclear research reactors to Iran, which can be used to produce Plutonium for nuclear weapons.

Asked about Iran's nuclear intentions, Adamov said he had no illusions. "I am sure that Iran is trying to create a nuclear arsenal. It would be foolish to suppose that they do not want to create one." Nevertheless, he argued, the Russian nuclear transfers were harmless.

Briefing the press in anticipation of the May 12 visit of Iranian Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh, who heads the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Yevgueny Adamov denied any proliferation danger from the research reactor sale. "These works are strictly in line with international understandings, the more so that the USA has already built in Iran a research reactor using 93-percent-enriched uranium."

"I am sure that Iran is trying to create a nuclear arsenal. It would be foolish to suppose that they do not want to create one."
- Yevgueny Adamov, Minatom

The U.S. sold to the Shah a 5 MW research reactor in the 1960s which is still under international safeguards, whereas Iran is now seeking a 40 MW reactor, similar to the Osirak plant built by France in Iraq. The Iraqis planned to use the 93% enriched fuel in that reactor in February 1991 to build a single atomic weapons, according to secret plans made public by Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, Hussein Kamil, after he defected to Jordan in 1996.

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Copyright © 1994-98, by the Middle East Data Project, Inc. All rights reserved.