Ukrainian Nuke Sales To Iran?

From RIA-Novosti.

The chief of Russia's General Staff said Monday he could neither confirm nor deny reports that Ukraine had sold 250 nuclear warheads to Iran.

"Russia's General Staff has no information about whether Ukraine has given 250 nuclear warheads to Iran or not," General Yury Baluyevsky, also deputy defense minister, said in response to an article in Novaya Gazeta newspaper Monday. "I do not comment on unsubstantiated reports."

The newspaper said that Ukraine had failed to return 250 warheads to Russia in the 1990s when the former Soviet republic declared itself a nuclear-free zone. The paper suggested the warheads could have been sold to a third country, including Iran.

"Russian military stalls on reports Ukraine sold warheads to Iran" 3 April 2006

I find the implication of this report hard to believe; the Ukraine couldn't be certain what the new owner would do with these weapons. The Ukraine could not be sure such weapons would not cause it grief outweighing the benefit of the purchase price.

Also, I've read elsewhere that atomic fission detonations have a distinctive radioactive signature and that its possible to determine where the uranium on an atomic bomb came from by analyzing fission debris. A bunch of atom bombs going off that, in effect, said "Made in the Ukraine" might be tough to explain.

I'm skeptical whether any of the constituents of the former USSR would dare to turn such devices loose on the international market. It's not the same thing as selling off excess AK-47s or tanks.

All the same, I can't really prove that this report isn't true either.
Fcuk me if this is true....... It would never suprise me with these former Soviet States and the amount of ex-Soviet hardware spread across Eastern Europe but nukes?

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't they give all their nukes back to Russia in 1991?
I think there is a problem with translation. I looked at Russian variant.

Интересно, что в понедельник некоторые российские СМИ сообщили, что на вооружении Ирана находится до 250 ядерных боезарядов советского производства, которые этой стране якобы передали бывшие власти Украины. Однако начальник Генерального штаба Вооруженных сил России генерал армии Юрий Балуевский опроверг эту информацию. "Генштаб России не располагает данными о передаче Украиной 250 ядерных зарядов Ирану. Я не комментирую подобные сообщения, которые не имеют под собой оснований", - сказал Балуевский журналистам.

It is interesting that some Russian media reported on Monday that there are up to 250 nuclear warheads made in Soviet Union in arsenal of Iran that were delivered by former authorities of Ukraine. However, the chief of the General Staff of Russian armed forces General of the Army Yuri Baluyevskiy refuted this information. "general staff of Russia is not possessed the data about the transfer by the Ukraine 250 nuclear warheads to Iran. I do not comment on similar communications, which are not founded upon bases ", said Baluyevskiy to journalists.
Indeed, recently one Russian journalist Pavel Felgengauer wrote an article where he alleged that up to (not exactly) 250 warhead were not received by Russia from Ukraine. Moreover their destination point could be Iran. I heard an interview with him on radio Echo of Moscow yesterday. Mr.Felgengauer was asked about his sources of information. He answered that it is only his suppositions and the number 250 is no more than an estimate. There was an official comment that no one warhead was lost. But mr.Felgengauer doesn't believe.

In this context you could undertand replays of general Baluevskiy. He simply hasn't time to answer again and again on stupid baseless question.

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