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Russia: Officials Say Missile Technology Kept From Iran

Moscow, 2 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russia's domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service, said today it has prevented attempts to pass to Iran technology and equipment to make long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

Itar-Tass quoted an unidentified senior security official as saying that authorities had on several occasions discovered Russian deliveries to Iran that he said could have violated international non-proliferation agreements on missile technologies. But he said all attempts were detected and halted at an early stage.

The Russian official says earlier this year his agency prevented an attempt by Iranians to make parts of liquid-fuel missile engines at NPO Trud in Samara, passing them off as equipment for gas pumping stations.

Last week, President Boris Yeltsin denied Russia was supplying nuclear or ballistic missile related technology to Tehran. But Israel on Tuesday rejected Yeltsin's denial, saying hundreds of Russian scientists and technicians are involved in the project.

An Israeli official told reporters that the Polyus Research Institute in Moscow as well as NPO Trud are developing the engine and guidance system of a liquid-fuel missile for Iran. The missile would have a range of 1,300 kilometers, sufficient to reach Israel.