- 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
- 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
- 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.