Iran intended to import radiation-contaminated chickens from Belarus despite the risk to the public, an official document reveals.
The disclosure comes in a "very confidential" letter from the Ministry of Agriculture published on Friday by Nariman Gharib, an internet researcher.
The document was addressed to Peyman Pak, Deputy Agriculture Minister, and was signed by Mohammad Ali Nasiri, Advisor to the Minister and Head of the Security of the Agriculture Ministry on May 10.
In the letter, Asiri admits that due to the radioactive contamination in parts of Belarus after the Chernobyl tragedy, the import of chicken from the country is banned.
In a tweet, Gharib said it means that the Islamic Republic intended to import chickens from Belarus to control the market but in fear of political and health consequences, the import from Belarus was stopped.
The letter also expressed concern about the disclosure of the issue in the Farsi-language media abroad.
It stated that “chicken contaminated with radioactive substances may lead to specific diseases and risks caused by the production of food with contaminated raw material.”
Earlier this year, Iran and Belarus agreed a deal on agricultural cooperation, under which the former Soviet state sends products including poultry, grain and dairy supplies.
This is not the first time the Islamic Republic has imported or intended to import contaminated food. Two years ago, ISNA news agency reported that about five thousand tons of livestock feed contaminated with aflatoxin had been imported but stopped at customs.
Jalal Mahmoudzadeh, a lawmaker, said on Saturday that in the past year three million tons of wheat was imported from Russia, which was highly contaminated with lead.
He said it was not possible to stop the shipments but that they were mixed with stored wheat to lower the overall lead level.