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RE: [casi] Trent Lott on Uranium

> This a.m. on one of the Sunday Morning Let's go to War with Iraq US
> television info-mercials, Senator Trent Lott said that the
> Uranium which was
> siezed yesterday? was headed for Iraq.  I have not read that
> anywhere.  The
> articles said it was on the Turkey/Syrian border.  Does anyone have any
> information on this?

Hi Roger,

The BBC's story on this is available at  I've reproduced the
text below.  It indicated that the uranium's destination, and even its
grade, was unknown.

reports that only 5 oz (140 g) of material has been seized, and that its
grade has yet to be determined.  It also reports that the US administration
is responding cautiously.

Colin Rowat

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Turkish police seize smuggled uranium
By Tabitha Morgan

Turkish police say they have seized 100 grams of weapons grade uranium,
which had been smuggled into the country from Eastern Europe.

At first officers announced gave the quantity as 15 kilograms (34.5 pounds)
but later explained that this included the weight of a lead container.

Two men have been arrested for questioning in the south of the country,
close to the Syrian border.

According to the Turkish state news agency, the uranium was being
transported in a taxi, concealed beneath the seats.

The taxi was intercepted near the south-west town of Sanliurfa, after police
received a tip-off.

Smuggling route

It is not yet clear where the uranium, estimated to be worth $5m on the
black market, was being taken, but it is unlikely there would have been a
market for it within Turkey.

The Turkish media have been speculating that the alleged smugglers, both
Turks, may have planned to take the weapons grade material through Syria and
on into Iraq.

The seizure is the biggest of its kind in recent years.

Since the collapse of the Soviet bloc, Turkey has been a transit route for
smuggled nuclear materials, many of which have found their way onto the
black market in Istanbul.

Last year two men were arrested in the city after trying to sell a kilo of
uranium wrapped in newspaper to undercover police agents.

While the Turkish authorities will welcome this latest seizure, they will be
uneasy about the international focus on Turkey as a smuggling route for such
dangerous materials.

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