ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan (search) acknowledged Tuesday that several of its nuclear scientists may have been motivated by "personal ambition and greed" to share sensitive technology with Iran (search), but insisted the government never authorized the transfer of such information.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Masood Khan (search) said the government is questioning a "very small number" of its scientists over the possibility they spread sensitive technology to Iran.
The questioning, which began five or six weeks ago, was prompted by information from Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
"We had been approached by the IAEA. We had been given some information by the government of Iran. The information that was shared with us pointed to certain individuals and we had to hold the debriefing sessions," he told a news conference.
"There are indications that certain individuals might have been motivated by personal ambition or greed, but let me add we have not made a final determination," he said. "Let's not jump to conclusions."
On Monday, the government said that the founder of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, was being questioned in connection with debriefings of other scientists, but was not in custody.
At least two scientists from Khan Research Laboratories, the country's top nuclear laboratory named after its founder, were held for questioning this month -- including Mohammad Farooq, its former director general and aide to Khan, who is still being held.