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Russia denies aiding Iran nuclear efforts

  |   Oct. 7, 2009 at 12:57 PM
MOSCOW, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Russia's security chief, Nikolai Patrushev, says Russian scientists are not helping Iran's alleged efforts to develop a nuclear bomb, a diplomatic sore spot.

Responding to recent reports by British media that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu identified certain Russian researchers as assisting Iran build nuclear weapons, Patrushev said Tuesday his country had no information to support such claims, RIA Novosti reported.

"I have heard of these reports ... but I do not know who has supplied this information and why it was published," Patrushev said.

"Our intelligence services constantly receive information, and when they have it, they pass it on to our partners for analysis and confirmation. But we do not have any such information at this point. If we receive it, we will study it thoroughly."

While Patrushev said Iran should be allowed to develop a nuclear program for civilian purposes, the security official voiced opposition to the Middle Eastern country having nuclear weaponry.

"We are against Iran having a nuclear weapon," the Russian official said.

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