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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, March 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is ready to show interested experts that Russian weapons supplied to Syria cannot threaten Israel, Secretary of the Russian Security Council Igor Ivanov said in an interview with Israeli television.

"The issue is that the Strelets, the short-range air defense missile systems that ... are to be supplied to Syria," the Russian official said, "are purely defensive."

"We have volunteered to show these weapons to our Israeli counterparts if they wish," Ivanov underscored.

Commenting on Russia's nuclear cooperation with Iran, the Secretary of the Russian Security Council said in Russia there are no "such crazy people to help anyone to create nuclear weapons" that might end up in the hands of terrorists.

"On the contrary, we will strengthen nonproliferation regimes in all ways," he said in the interview.

"As to the peaceful use of nuclear power, this is a sovereign right of every state. Our cooperation with Iran is under IAEA's strict control, which is a good guarantee that these programs cannot be used for military purposes," Ivanov said.

When asked whether Russia trusts Iran in its promises not to go back on its no-weapons statements, the Russian official said that "in such issues, upon-my-word statements do not count."

"Strict international Russian and IAEA monitoring is what we are relying upon, which is the reason why we demanded that Iran join the Additional Protocol on IAEA guarantees, make its nuclear programs transparent, and suspend uranium enrichment," Mr. Ivanov said.

He said such an approach, together with negotiations with the European Troika, "could guarantee that Iran's programs will not be used for military purposes."

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