Baku, Azerbaijan, May 4
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
Armenia's nuclear material could be used to arm a dirty bomb, Alexander Murinson, senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center and Bar Ilan University, wrote in an article published in Washington Times.
Murinson wrote that the fourth Nuclear Security Summit was recently hosted in America's capital.
According to the article, the reality, however, is lacking any teeth in terms of oversight, credible or reliable sanctions on nations who "break the rules".
According to the article, Mr. Obama's efforts were likely a nice opportunity for world leaders to hold important meetings on the periphery of the summit.
According to the article, the summit demonstrated the particularly warm welcome bestowed upon Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev.
"This is the expression of solidarity, close bilateral relations and strategic partnership between the United States and Azerbaijan," the article said.
Murinson wrote that currently, another major concern seems to be arising in the Caucasus.
According to the article, mere days ago, Georgian authorities reported the arrest of several Armenian nationals who were attempting to smuggle and illegally sell some nuclear-grade materials.
"The highly radioactive U-238 can be used to produce a myriad of deadly and destructive apparatuses, not the least of which is a dreaded "dirty bomb"," Murinson wrote.
"The specter of a dirty bomb is of paramount concern for security services and counterterrorism officials worldwide," the article said.
"Internationally, the deep alarm of officials associated with the discovery of U-238 was compounded earlier this year when a group of individuals was discovered attempting to smuggle Cesium-137, a highly radioactive isotope that is a waste product from nuclear reactors," Murinson added.
"This adds much credence to constant complaints by Azerbaijan related to the fact that the territory under separatist control, such as Nagorno-Karabakh, is being used for all manner of illegal smuggling from nuclear material to arms to narcotics," the article said.
"To substantially add to the threat emanating from Armenian nationals and Armenia is the presence in Armenia of an outdated Chernobyl-type nuclear reactor operating long past its original planned lifetime," the article said. "This, when taken with the news from Georgia, elevates the nuclear alarm to a new level."
"Coincidentally (or not), the safety of Armenia's aged reactor was discussed at the Nuclear Security Summit and notably in the presence of Mr. Obama and other world leaders," he wrote.
"Two of the region's most prominent leaders and both closely aligned with the United States, President Aliyev and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, spoke with apprehension about the reactor's danger, sounding the alarm of the present and mounting dangers originating in Armenia," the article said.
According to the article, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan was quick to dismiss these concerns.
"However, if Armenia's reactor is not only a safety threat, but potentially a source of radioactive material for a "dirty" bomb, as suggested by the recent foiled plots, then the problem is no longer limited to the Caucasus region," the article said.