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Russia Puts Laser Deal With Iran on Hold
Sep 2000
MOSCOW, Sept. 25 -- Because of objections made by the United States, Russia has reconsidered a deal that involved sending scientific and medical laser technology to Iran. Yuri Bespalko, press chief of the Atomic Energy Ministry, reported that Russia had suspended its deliveries of scientific and medical laser technology to Iran because of US fears that the lasers could be used for some kind of nuclear weapons program.
We think that the equipment meant for Iran does not fall under the limits of the international exports regime, Bespalko said. Nevertheless, the topic is sensitive, especially for the United States, and a decision has been made to give the issue more consideration.
Iran insisted that the technology it sought from the Yefremov Scientific Research Institute of St. Petersburg was going to be used for peaceful purposes. And Boris Yatsenko, director of the Microtechnology Center at the Russian Institute, said that the lasers his institute was sending were designed solely for scientific and medical purposes.

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