Friday, June 29, 2007

Russian Deputy Says Iran Is Developing the Bomb

The head of the International Affairs Committee of the Russian Duma today told the news agency Interfax that Iran may be capable of testing an atomic bomb within five years (Interfax, 29 June 2007). The announcement by the senior Russian parliamentarian Mikhail Margelov surprised political analysts. Margelov had returned from a visit to Tehran.

Margelov said the tone of Iranian officials he had met convinced him that Iran was “a country that has a maximum of five years left before it tests its own nuclear bomb.” He added that the bellicose tone in Iran's dialog with international organizations only strengthens his suspicion.

Margelov is the highest ranking Russian official accusing Iran of developing nuclear weapons. Russia has always insisted that the Iranian nuclear program was for peaceful purposes.

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