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Russia: U.S. Checking Reports Of Nuclear Sales To Iran

Washington, 3 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. State Department says it continues to probe into reports that Russia is supplying nuclear missile technology to Iran.

Spokesman James Foley said the State Department's special envoy Frank Wisner will meet with Russian officials again over the next two weeks, following a trip to Moscow in September, to pursue the issue.

Foley made the statement in response to questions concerning Russia's Federal Security Service, which reportedly said in Moscow yesterday that it has prevented several attempts to pass to Iran nuclear technology and equipment for producing long-range missiles.

Foley said he could give no details of U.S.-Russian exchanges because the topic is highly sensitive. He reiterated that the U.S. is deeply concerned and said the Russian government is equally disturbed. "We are convinced that they take this seriously," Foley said.

He said Russian officials stressed that Iran's acquisition of weapons of mass destruction would be an immediate national security concern.

He added that press reports have indicated that some Russian organizations are involved that "are not under the direction of Russian government."