Armenia's Iskander missiles increasing nuke threat in region
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 11
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
The supply of Russia’s Iskander missiles to Armenia will increase the threat of nuclear proliferation in the region, said human rights activist Armine Sahakyan in her article published by The Huffington Post Nov. 11.
The reason is that Iskander 9K720 missiles can carry nuclear, as well as conventional warheads, and Armenia has the scientific capability and material to make nukes, said the article.
“Some Armenian military and civilian leaders have hinted that the country is actually developing nukes,” said Sahakyan. “I began asking myself whether the advanced Iskanders’ presence would not only precipitate a missile race in the region, but also increase the threat of nuclear proliferation.”
Armenian leaders have made a number of comments this year that suggested that nukes might in the cards, according to the article.
Retired General Arkadiy Ter-Tadevosyan said on March 27 that Armenia was developing a weapon that could unleash great destruction, noted the author.
On April 16, Acting Defense Minister Norat Ter-Grigoryants, the retired head of Armenia’s armed forces, said nuclear weapons could play a role in the country’s defense as a deterrent and a means of retaliation.
During a press conference on April 29, former Prime Minister Grant Bagratian said unequivocally that “Armenia has a nuclear weapon.”
Some political analysts note that Armenia has both the scientific capability and the material to make nukes, said Sahakyan adding that the country has a nuclear power plant at Metsamor, 36 kilometers west of Yerevan, and scientists and engineers running the plant would certainly have the knowledge to make nuclear weapons.
“And the plant uses bomb-capable fuel,” added the author. “That’s apparent from the arrests of a number of Armenian nationals who have tried to smuggle radioactive material out of the country in the past decade.”
It would be terrible for the region and the world if other countries’ fears of a nuclear-armed Armenia prompted them to begin building nukes, said Sahakyan.
That would mean that the purchase of the Iskanders that were supposed to increase Armenia’s security actually did the opposite, she added.