Iran Said To Have Paid $25
Million For Nuclear Weapons

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Iran paid $25 million for two tactical nuclear weapons smuggled out of the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday, citing Iranian documents.
Technicians from Argentina were involved in the secret operation, The Jerusalem Post reported. It said the documents have been in U.S. government hands for several years and are being studied by Israel.
Friday's story in the Post was the second on the subject in two days. On Thursday, after the first article appeared, the Pentagon said it had "no evidence whatsoever" that Iran acquired several nuclear warheads from the former Soviet Union at that time. Friday, the Israeli newspaper quoted from what it said was an Iranian document dated Dec. 26, 1991. In it, Brig. Gen. Rahim Safavi, deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards Council, discussed a meeting with Riza Amrullahi, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Commission.
Citing Amrullahi, the general wrote that "the efforts of the Islamic Republic's intelligence forces ... have borne fruit and two tactical atomic weapons from Russia have been delivered to Iranian sources in the Astara region."
"The source added that they paid $25 million for these weapons of a tactical nature," Safavi wrote, according to the newspaper. In later documents, according to the Post, Iranian officials complained that the Argentine technicians involved in the project were "lazy, greedy and egotistical" and said they hoped Russian technicians who had arrived in Iran would not cause such problems.
Israel had no comment on the report.
Israel has previously complained to the United States that Russia is helping Iran acquire non-conventional weapons, a charge Russia denies.

Email Homepage