Russia Seizes Nuclear Material Bound For Iran
The Federal Customs Service seized baggage containing radioactive material bound for Tehran, though the agency declined to say when the material was actually seized. The luggage reportedly contained 18 metal rods containing the Sodium-22 isotope.
Officials were alerted to the suspicious baggage after a radiation detector was set off at the Moscow airport. The rods emitted radiation about 20 times higher than normal.
According to the Associated Press, Sodium-22 is used typically used for medical imaging. It is unclear where the nuclear material came from or whether it was going to be used in Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.
At this point there seem to be more questions than answers. NBC News quoted an anonymous U.S. intelligence source as saying “we don't know whether the recipient was a government agency. It's unclear why they would want to smuggle it in - we are still investigating - but it does not appear that this involves Iran's nuclear program.”
Russian officials are investigating the incident.
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