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Ukrainian Official: Missiles Exported To Iran, China

Piskun (file photo) London, 18 March 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Svyatoslav Piskun is quoted as saying Ukraine exported 12 cruise missiles to Iran and six to China in 2001.

Piskun told the "Financial Times" newspaper of Britain that none of the 18 X-55 cruise missiles (also known as Kh-55 or AS-15) was exported with the nuclear warheads they were designed to carry.

The newspaper said it is the first confirmation by a Ukrainian government official that the exports took place. The "Financial Times" said the X-55 has a range of 3,000 kilometers, enough to reach Israel from Iran.

Japan is also reported concerned that it could be vulnerable to the missile. The report says the U.S. embassy in Kyiv is closely monitoring the investigation and wants the findings of a reported secret trial over the missile exports to be made public.

(RFE/RL Ukrainian Service/Reuters/