Russia denies report of assisting Iran's nuclear programme
Moscow: Russia has strongly denied a US
media report about assisting Teheran's nuclear weapons
programme, saying Moscow is firmly guided by its obligations
under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).
Last week, Executive Director of the Washington-based
Non-proliferation Policy Education Centre Henry Sokolski wrote
an article for the Washington Times alleging Russia's
involvement in an Iranian nuclear weapons programme.
Dismissing the allegations as "groundless", the Russian
Foreign Ministry in its statement issued last evening said:
"The emergence of nuclear weapons in Iran would be just as
unacceptable to us as to the United States. We have said this
several times. So claims that Russia is helping Iran to build
nuclear weapons are entirely unfounded."
The statement underscored Moscow's commitment to the NPT
and civilian nuclear co-operation with Tehran.
"Being a signatory of the NPT, Russia is fully sticking
to its non-proliferation commitments. We build our nuclear
cooperation with Iran keeping in view all the restrictions
prescribed by the relevant resolutions of the UN Security
Council," it added.
Refuting the Washington Times' report of Russian help in
other Iranian nuclear installations including the heavy water
Arak reactor, the statement said Moscow was only involved in
building the Bushehr Atomic Power Plant.
In his article, Sokolski had quoted "leaked IAEA
documents" saying Iran is working on a "small and light"
nuclear warhead for its latest missile systems to target
south-eastern member nations of the NATO.
Based on a US intelligence report, Sokolski had alleged
Russians of helping Iran complete the Arak reactor that is
optimised to produce weapon-grade plutonium, and thereby
enable Tehran to build a nuclear capable missile.