March 18, 2010 11:53
A U.S. expert has raised the over reports that North Korea exported unenriched uranium to Syria before a reactor there was bombed by Israel, claiming the material may have been intended for Iran. Leonard Spector, a deputy director of the Monterey Institute of International Studies' James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, made the remarks Tuesday.
Spector quoted reports as saying the 45 tons of what is known as "yellowcake" were then delivered to Iran via Turkey. The material would be sufficient for several nuclear weapons if enriched to weapons grade. The 45 tons could be only the first of many such shipments, he speculated.
"After having flagrantly violated relevant UN Security Council resolutions by continuing their respective nuclear operations, it now appears that North Korea and Iran may have begun to assist each other to bypass the Council's demands," he said. He warned that a North Korea-Iran nuclear axis could gravely undermine international nonproliferation efforts.
The report came from Japan's Kyodo News citing unnamed sources.
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