#29 - JRL 2009-185 - JRL Home

MP admits Russian scientists may be helping Iran develop nuclear weapons

Moscow, 5 October: The Russian state has nothing to do with Iran's developing nuclear weapons, according to Gennadiy Gudkov, deputy head of the State Duma Committee on Security.

"Russia as a state has a very clear position. We are taking part only in peaceful programmes which provide no opportunity for developing nuclear weapons," Gudkov said at a news conference at Interfax on Monday (5 October), commenting on reports in the Western media that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu handed over to representatives of the Russian authorities a list of Russian scientists who, according to Tel Aviv, are helping Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

In Gudkov's opinion, if Iran develops nuclear weapons, some of Russia's neighbours, for instance Armenia, will have them too. "And Russia does not want nuclear weapons appearing on our border," the MP said.

At the same time he did not rule out that some scientists who have Russian citizenship may be cooperating with Iran as private individuals.

According to Gudkov, every year about 100,000 people leave Russia to go abroad and about 5,000-7,000 come back. The rest settle abroad, including students, post-graduate students and young scientists.

"But we have no control over who of them may be recruited by Iran and for what purposes. No-one, neither the Americans nor the Europeans, can establish such control," the MP said.
In his opinion, if the information about some Russian scientists helping Iran to develop nuclear weapons is confirmed, the issue should be raised at an intergovernment level in order "to exclude these scientists from science by putting their names on a 'black list'". As a result these scientists will be restricted in their opportunities and won't be able to work anywhere except in Iran, he said.

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