West must assume M.E. states have Russian nukes

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


WASHINGTON [MENL] -- The United States must assume that Middle East allies of Moscow as well as terrorist groups have succeeded in obtaining nuclear material smuggled from reactors around the former Soviet Union.

A report by a leading U.S. expert said the number of nuclear shipments seized from the former Soviet Union is only the tip of the iceberg. The report said a combination of corrupt officials and a thirst for revenue by Russia's nuclear industry appears to guarantee the prospect of widespread smuggling of nuclear material to such countries as Iran, Iraq and perhaps terrorist groups.

"U.S. policymakers must contemplate the possibility that -- as with other illegally traded commodities -- what was seized is only a small fraction of what has been circulated through smuggling channels," said a report authored by Rensselaer Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Lee, author of the book "Nuclear Smuggling from the Former Union: Threats and Responses," cites Moscow's nuclear cooperation with Iran. The analyst said the cooperation is valued at billions of dollars and outweighs the proliferation risks of a nuclear Islamic regime.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), May 01, 2001

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