WikiLeaks: US trying to remove uranium from Pak facility over illicit nuke use fears

Washington, Nov 29(ANI): The United States has mounted a highly secret effort, so far unsuccessful, to remove highly enriched uranium from a Pakistani research reactor that American officials fear could be diverted for use in an illicit nuclear device, according to a cache of confidential U.S diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks.

The documents revealed that the US had been pressurizing Pakistan to remove the uranium since 2007.

In May 2009, US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson reported that Pakistan was refusing to schedule a visit by American technical experts because, as a Pakistani official said, "if the local media got word of the fuel removal, they certainly would portray it as the United States taking Pakistan's nuclear weapons."

The material was released to the New York Times and other organizations, and discloses frank comments behind closed doors.

The US State Department however declined to confirm information in what WikiLeaks says is more than 250,000 documents, covering a period from December 1966 through February 2010.

"I can't provide veracity of anything WikiLeaks has released to the media," Nicole Thompson, a State Department spokeswoman, said in an interview, adding that the agency's policy is to refrain from commenting on specific leaked materials.

WikiLeaks, founded by Australian Julian Assange, has previously published tens of thousands of documents detailing the U.S. handlings of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. (ANI)

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