The Iran Brief®

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Copyright © 1999, by the Middle East Data Project, Inc. All rights reserved.

Issue No. 63, Oct. 4, 1999

Canada blocks nuclear deal with Iran (Serial 6305)


The Canadian government announced on September 9 it would intervene to cancel the proposed sale of a nuclear fusion research reactor to Iran, three days after The Iran Brief exposed the sale and raised concerns about a possible proliferation threat (see our September issue)

Iran sought to purchase the $50 million Tokamak fusion reactor from the Canadian Center for Fusion Magnetics immediately after U.S. pressure forced Russia's Ministry for Atomic Energy (MINATOM) in June to cancel a contract to build a nuclear research reactor in Iran that could have been used to produce weapons-grade Plutonium. "By training technicians today on the Canadian Tokamak," one U.S. intelligence analyst told The Iran Brief , "they will be ready for the day they can purchase a much larger reactor from Russia that can be used for Plutonium production."

The Iranians were planning to install the Tokamak in a brand new technical university that was aimed at attracting top scientists to a new, world-class nuclear research facility to be supervised by Russian and Canadian scientists.

In announcing they were canceling the Tokamak sale to Iran, Canadian officials said they were concerned that the technology would aide Iran's clandestine efforts to develop nuclear weapons.