Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 25, April 1998
Report on Iran Nuclear Weapons DismissedOn 9 April, the Jerusalem Post reported that Iran acquired a number of nuclear warheads from Russia in the early 1990s: the warheads, the paper claimed, were still in Iran, being maintained with the help of Russian experts.
The same day, a spokesperson for Russia's Atomic Energy Ministry, Georgy Kaurov, dismissed the report, describing it simply as "nonsense". According to Kaurov: "Not a single warhead has disappeared... They are all either kept in storage, or have been destroyed in accordance with agreements on nuclear weapons reduction."
Also on 9 April, Pentagon spokesperson Kenneth Bacon told reporters "we have no evidence whatsoever" that the Post story was accurate. Israel's Foreign Ministry did not reject or affirm the story's claim. Moshe Fox, head of the Ministry's North American Division, said only (9 April): "What we do know is that the Iranians are in the process of creating a prototype, but how far they have gotten we do not know."
Reports: Report - Iran has nuclear warheads, Associated Press, 9 April; Pentagon - Iran has no Soviet nukes, Associated Press, 9 April.
© 1998 The Acronym Institute.