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Pakistan: Nuclear info was sold

Dec. 23, 2003 at 11:06 AM   |   Comments

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Pakistan acknowledged Tuesday some of its nuclear scientists shared information with Iran out of "personal ambition and greed," the BBC reported Tuesday.

But the Pakistani Foreign Ministry was adamant the government never authorized the transfer of such information.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Masood Khan told a news conference the founder of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, is among those scientists being questioned. "There are indications that certain individuals might have been motivated by personal ambition or greed," Khan said.

He said the investigation began five or six-weeks ago, prompted by information from the government of Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Khan said a "very small number" of scientists is thought to be involved, and that everybody, including the highly-respected Abdul Qadeer Khan, will be given equal treatment.

He also reiterated the government has never been involved in nuclear proliferation, asserting that Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state and has a reliable nuclear command-and-control system in place.

© 2003 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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