MOSCOW, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Russia has no knowledge of an alleged Iranian plan to import purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan, the foreign ministry said Thursday.
Moscow is verifying information that a state signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) submitted a report on a uranium deal between Iran and Kazakhstan to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, foreign minister spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said.
"We have not seen the document yet, nor has the agency provided any official information on the issue," Nesterenko said.
He said U.N. Security Council Resolution 1737 bans the shipment of any nuclear materials to Iran, including purified uranium ore.
"We believe that these requirements must be strictly observed by all states," he said.
Iran has denied reports that it intends to import purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan under a covert deal. The country is under three sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions for refusing to freeze its enrichment program and related activities that could be used to make nuclear weapons,
Kazakhstan, among the world's top three producers of uranium, accounting for more than 8,500 tons last year, also denied the reports.
Uranium ore, also known as "yellow cake," can be enriched to use as fuel for reactors or in nuclear weapons.