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  • Fears grow of nuclear brain drain to Iran

The president of the Republic of Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze, has claimed that several nuclear physicists from Abkhazia, a breakaway region in the Caucasus, are working in Iran.

A Georgian spokesman says his government has given US officials the names of seven physicists from the Sukhumi Institute of Physics and Technology (SIPT), who it claims are now working in Iran. Analysts acknowledge that the SIPT has been a long-standing proliferation headache.

But others are withholding judgement, particularly in light of the ongoing Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. Scott Parish, an expert on nuclear proliferation at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California says, "Shevardnadze has every motivation to accuse Abkhazia of various nefarious activities".

Link to full Science news article

Reference: Science 299, 1498
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