WASHINGTON: The United States said on Thursday that it had no information to suggest that the nuclear materials seized in Iraq had come from Pakistan.
“We have no confirmation of who the source of the material was,” US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told a briefing in Washington.
“We have had a range of dialogue with Pakistan and I am not aware of any new concern on this case,” she added.
Earlier this week, Iraq notified the United Nations that Sunni militants seized nuclear material from a university in the northern city of Mosul last month as they advanced toward Baghdad.
On Thursday, the UN nuclear regulatory body, the International Atomic Energy Agency, announced that it had received a letter from Iraq and that it experts had done some preliminary investigations as well.
The experts believed that the material — thought to be uranium — was “low grade and would not present a significant safety, security or nuclear proliferation risk,” said the Vienna-based UN agency.
The letter Iraq sent to the UN claimed that Sunni insurgents had seized almost 90 pounds of uranium compounds had been kept at the university and that the materials “can be used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction.”
At the State Department news briefing on Thursday, some Indian journalists suggested that the material might have come from Pakistan but the department’s spokesperson disagreed with them.
She also said that this was not a weapon grade material and was meant for medical use.
Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2014