Russia nabs Iran-bound nuclear material

2011-12-16 17:00
Moscow - Russia on Friday seized a consignment of the radioactive isotope Sodium-22 at a Moscow airport from a passenger who was to travel on a flight to Tehran, the customs service said.

"Tests showed that the Sodium-22 could only have been obtained as the result of the work of a nuclear reactor," it said in a statement. "A criminal enquiry has been opened and the materials transferred to prosecutors."

Customs had been alerted by a warning system at Sheremetyevo airport ahead of the Moscow to Tehran flight that background radiation in the departures hall was 20 times the norm. A passenger's bag was then searched.

"Eighteen metallic objects of industrial origin were found, packed into individual steel boxes," it said.

"Tests then found that the objects were in fact the radioactive isotope Sodium-22 that had been machine-produced."

No further details were immediately available on the consignment or the identity of the passenger who was carrying the materials.

Russia has relatively close ties with Iran and has built its first nuclear power station in the southern city of Bushehr. Moscow has also delivered the nuclear fuel for the reactor.

Moscow has echoed Western concerns about the nature of the Iranian nuclear programme but has stopped short of publicly accusing Tehran of seeking atomic weapons and always said that the standoff should be solved by diplomacy.

Experts have long called for tight controls against nuclear smuggling so Iran cannot get hold of materials it is barred from obtaining under UN Security Council sanctions.
Read more on:    russia  |  iran  |  iran nuclear programme

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.