Iran denies nuclear, missile cooperation with North Korea

DUBAI Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:23pm IST

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran and North Korea are not cooperating on missile and nuclear development, Tehran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

Japan's Kyodo News agency this month reported, citing a Western diplomatic source, that Iran had stationed defence staff in North Korea since late October, apparently to strengthen cooperation in missile and nuclear development.

"What has been said about missile and nuclear cooperation between Iran and North Korea is completely baseless," said Ramin Mehmanparast, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, in his weekly news conference on Tuesday.

Mehmanparast said Tehran and Pyongyang did cooperate militarily during Iran's eight-year war with Iraq in the 1980s, but after that point, their cooperation was limited to humanitarian and political affairs.

The two countries signed an agreement to cooperate in science and technology earlier this year.

North Korea has had close ties with Iran. Leaked U.S. diplomatic cables from 2010 showed that U.S. officials believed Iran acquired ballistic missile parts from North Korea.

(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Alison Williams)

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