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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 21, December 1997

US Doubts Report of Iran-South Africa Cooperation

On 4 December, US State Department spokesperson James Rubin sought to defend South Africa from allegations in the press that it was supplying nuclear technology to Iran. Rubin dealt with the allegations in some detail:

"We are aware of a variety of press reports, dating back several months, suggesting that Iranian officials have requested South African assistance in providing Iran with technology which could assist development of a nuclear weapons programme.

One report alleged that a meeting between South African and Iranian nuclear officials occurred in South Africa in 1996. In response to that report, South African officials publicly clarified many inaccuracies [in it]...

The United States has high confidence in South Africa's commitment to its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty... South Africa's solid nuclear non-proliferation credentials are well-known to us. In addition to being a signatory to the NPT, it played a significant role - a leadership role - in securing indefinite extension of the...Treaty in 1995. ...

Iran, on the other hand, remains a significant and serious concern. ..."

Report: State Department briefing, 4 December.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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