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US concerned over ‘scientific-cooperation pact’ between N Korea, Iran: Report

Last Updated: Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 16:05

Washington: American officials have raised concerns that a scientific-cooperation pact between North Korea and Iran could advance the nuclear and missile programs of both countries, a report has said.

Washington is concerned that the two military allies will seek to use the agreement to advance their nuclear capabilities, just as they have jointly developed missile systems, according to US and UN officials.

According to a senior US official, ‘any ``scientific cooperation`` between Iran and North Korea is potentially a source of real concern to the US and they will have to follow it closely’.

US and European officials are particularly concerned about the presence at the Tehran signing of the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The UN placed sanctions and a travel ban on Abbasi-Davani in 2007, on what it said was evidence he was involved in nuclear-weapons research, the Journal said.

According to the paper, the agreement, reached in September, bears a close resemblance to one North Korea signed with Syria in 2002.

The US and the IAEA believe that in the months after this agreement was signed Pyongyang stepped up efforts to assist Assad’s government in building a nuclear reactor on the Euphrates River in eastern Syria, the report added.


First Published: Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 12:30

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