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October 17, 2005

Russians helping Iran with missile threat to Europe

Topics: Iran

According to a News.Telegraph report, former members of the Russian military have been secretly helping Iran to acquire technology needed to produce missiles capable of striking European capitals.

The Russians are acting as go-betweens with North Korea as part of a multi-million pound deal they negotiated between Teheran and Pyongyang in 2003. It has enabled Teheran to receive regular clandestine shipments of top secret missile technology, believed to be channelled through Russia.

Western intelligence officials believe that the technology will enable Iran to complete development of a missile with a range of 2,200 miles, capable of hitting much of Europe. It is designed to carry a 1.2-ton payload, sufficient for a basic nuclear device.

The revelation raises the stakes in the confrontation between Iran's Islamic regime and the West - led by the United States and European countries including Britain.

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, clashed with Russian officials over Iran's nuclear programme during a visit to Moscow yesterday, saying that Teheran must fulfil its obligations under the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty.

The News.Telegraph believes that their report on the illegal transfer of missile technology to Iran "marks a serious raising of the stakes in the faltering effort to make Teheran come clean about its nuclear program."
Iran has always maintained that its nuclear programme is civilian in nature, although it is hard to see why a country with such rich natural resources would invest so heavily in nuclear power. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the country's hardline president, declared last month that "with respect to the needs of Islamic countries, we are ready to transfer nuclear know-how to these countries". Having imported the means to cause millions of deaths, Ahmadinejad now threatens to export the technology to other Muslim states, creating an Islamic commonwealth of nuclear terror.
So, has the U.S. been taking Putin`s regime too much for granted? What's so nerve rattling about the very question is that the issue of Russia selling dual-use technology to an increasingly dangerous Iran - even back then, China's threat, and a growing danger of terrorists using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials was discussed in a CIA report way back in 2003. If it was a problem then, imagine how much bigger the problem is today.

Posted by Richard at October 17, 2005 6:47 AM

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