'We won't give Iran any nuke material'

Peres meets Kazakhstani counterpart, who says he told Ahmadinejad nukes won't safeguard security.

By HAVIV RETTIG GUR
June 30, 2009 11:36
1 minute read.
'We won't give Iran any nuke material'

Israel-Azerbaijan 248. (photo credit: )

 
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Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev promised on Tuesday that "no nuclear material will reach Iran from our territory." Kazakhstan is believed to possess as much as 15 percent of the world supply of uranium. "I understand you're worried. We are also worried. The leak of nuclear materials is a critical issue for us," he said in response to Israeli journalists' questions. "After independence 18 years ago, Kazakhstan voluntarily gave up the fourth-largest nuclear stockpile in the world. We set an example for the world, but unfortunately that example wasn't followed," he said. He also noted that Kazakhstan had close ties both to Israel and Iran. "When [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad was here for a state visit, I told him that even if he had enough material for 10 nuclear bombs, it wouldn't bring him security. We improved our security by giving up nukes." In response to a Kazakh journalist's question about nuclear disarmament fostering a safer world, President Shimon Peres, who is visiting the country, interpreted the question as directed at Israel's alleged nuclear weapons program. He stressed that Israel "has never conducted a nuclear test and has never threatened anyone. It is Israel that has been threatened by others." Asked about his country's ability to use its influence and mediation to further the Arab-Israeli peace process, Nazarbayev said his country agreed with the "peace plans" set out by both US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

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