Accessibility links

Breaking News

Belarus: Official Denies Report About Planned Weapons Deal With Iran

Minsk, 19 February 1998 (RFE/RL) -- A senior Belarusian official today denied a news report about a planned secret weapons deal between Minsk and Teheran.

In answer to a question by RFE/RL, Deputy Foreign Minister Nina Mazai told a news briefing in Minsk that "no such agreement has been prepared."

The Washington Times wrote yesterday that Belarus is set to conclude an agreement with Teheran to sell military equipment and spare parts for Iran's tanks and armored vehicles. It quoted CIA sources for the information. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka will visit Teheran early next month.

In its article the Times also said reports about the secret agreement raised new fears among U.S. officials that Belarus could become a channel for Russian missile and nuclear weapons technology to Iran. Last spring Belarus concluded a wide-ranging cooperation agreement with Russia.