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Nuclear Smuggling: ‘Smoke Without Fire’

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday played down reports of nuclear smuggling in Russia.

“There are of course cases which are very serious,” Hans Blix, director general of the agency, told a news conference in Moscow. “But much are smoke without fire.”

Blix is in Russia on an annual visit. He said his agency had “no complaints” about Russia’s sale of two light-water nuclear reactors to Iran. The United States has urged Russia to cancel the $1 billion deal, claiming Tehran wants the technology for nuclear weapons.

Blix said Iran has allowed the international agency to monitor construction of the plant. “We have never seen any diversion of any nuclear material” in Iran, he said.

The IAEA is a U.N. organization that monitors compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.


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