Login/Logout

*
*  

I salute the Arms Control Association … for its keen vision of the goals ahead and for its many efforts to identify and to promote practical measures that are so vitally needed to achieve them. -

– Amb. Nobuyasu Abe
Former UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament Affairs
January 28, 2004
Missile Proliferation

UN Security Council Sets Terms For 'Closing' Nuclear File on Iraq

May 1998

By Howard Diamond

Efforts to lift the international economic sanctions on Iraq picked up momentum in May, with the UN Security Council adopting two decisions based on Baghdad's recent cooperation with UN-mandated efforts to eliminate its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles. On May 7, a never-implemented travel ban on Iraqi officials imposed in November 1997 was lifted, and a week later, the Security Council issued a statement setting the terms for closing investigations into Iraq's clandestine nuclear weapons program by the end of July.

The future of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) inquiry into Iraq's covert nuclear weapons program has been in question since the agency made its last biannual report to the Security Council in April. Stating that inspectors had found "no indication of prohibited equipment, materials or activities" in the last six months, the agency recommended shifting its efforts to a long-term intrusive monitoring program. Russian, French and Chinese diplomats have used the April report to justify their efforts to close the "nuclear file." The United States and Britain have resisted these attempts, however, citing unanswered questions about Iraq's success in weapons design, uranium enrichment options, and post-Gulf War nuclear procurement and concealment activities.

U.S. and Russian diplomats reportedly agreed to a compromise on the nuclear issue on May 12. Subsequently, the president of the Security Council issued a statement May 14 that would allow the IAEA to switch over to long-term monitoring if it can provide answers to the remaining nuclear questions in a special July status report, or in its next biannual report due in October. Washington's hard-line approach to Iraq's UN-mandated disarmament has been increasingly under attack from other Security Council members eager to reintegrate Iraq into the international community.

As part of the deal on the nuclear issue, The New York Times reported on May 14, that UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) Executive Director Richard Butler will be asked to give the Security Council a "technical briefing" on June 3. Security Council members sympathetic to Iraq expect him to explain what steps must be taken by Baghdad in order to wrap up UNSCOM's investigations in the chemical, biological and ballistic missile areas. Speaking to reporters in Australia on May 26, Butler said he would provide Iraq with a "road map" for compliance, and reiterated that if Baghdad cooperated fully, UNSCOM's work could be completed by October. Butler also promised to show the Security Council photographs taken by U.S. U-2 reconnaissance aircraft showing that Iraq has not fully divested itself of proscribed weapons, contrary to Baghdad's assertions.

As an additional part of the deal, UNSCOM will also be adding in July a former Russian Foreign Ministry official, Nikita Zhukov, as a political advisor. UNSCOM added a French political advisor in February. Russia's UN representative, Ambassador Sergei Lavrov, reportedly tried to have a Russian named as a deputy director equal to current Deputy Charles Duelfer of the United States. Faced with unshakable U.S. refusal, Lavrov settled for the advisory position.

Previously, in a May 7 letter to the Security Council, Butler reported that Baghdad had met the Security Council's requirement to provide "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transportation" required for inspections. Consequently, the travel ban, instituted after Baghdad ejected American UNSCOM inspectors in November 1997, was voided without ever having taken effect. The ban applied to Iraqi officials who had obstructed inspections.

UN Security Council Sets Terms For 'Closing' Nuclear File on Iraq

Senate Approves Sanctions Legislation Aimed at Russian-Iranian Missile Cooperation

May 1998

By Howard Diamond

Signaling its dissatisfaction with the Clinton administration's efforts to get Moscow to rein in transfers of ballistic missile technology to Iran, the Senate on May 22 passed the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act by a vote of 90-4. In the weeks prior to the Senate vote, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and national security advisor Samuel Berger warned of a presidential veto due to the measure's low evidentiary standard for imposing sanctions, and the anticipated negative effect on diplomatic efforts underway with Russia.

The House of Representatives adopted a nearly identical version of the bill on a voice vote in November 1997, and will now take up the Senate's version of the bill. The key difference between the House and Senate measures is an amendment by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) that made the bill's provisions effective for acts occurring after January 22, 1998, when former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin issued a "catch-all" decree to provide additional control over proliferation-sensitive exports. Before Chernomyrdin issued the January decree, Russian officials had claimed that their ability to prevent technology transfers was limited by the absence of sufficient legal authority. The previous effective date in the sanctions bill was August 1995, which corresponded to Russia's entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

Moscow has been under pressure from the United States to control transfers of ballistic missile technology to Iran since January 1997, when reports of Russian involvement first emerged. Subsequently, news reports based on leaked intelligence have alleged that Russian firms have provided Tehran with key technology and technical assistance for missile engines, aerodynamic problem solving, wind-tunnel testing, special materials and metals, guidance system components, and solid rocket fuel development. The Russian Space Agency (RSA) and Moscow's Federal Security Service have also been accused of aiding in technology transfers, but U.S. officials have cleared the RSA of any wrong-doing.

Eight days before the Senate vote, Russian President Boris Yeltsin issued two new executive orders detailing how the January decree will be put into effect. The first of Yeltsin's decrees requires the creation of an export control unit in all Russian businesses dealing in nuclear or missile technology, and lays out procedures—including a list of so-called "red-flags"—to guide exporters on how to avoid illicit buyers. The second decree gives the RSA overall control and responsibility for Russia's policy on missile technology, including the ability to block sales by other government agencies and institutes to suspect end-users.

Russia's Foreign Ministry attacked the U.S. legislation on May 25, describing the measure as an attempt "to hamper legitimate trade and economic ties with Iran" under the cover of non-proliferation. Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeniy Primakov warned on May 12 that if the United States imposed sanctions on Russian firms, chances for winning Duma ratification of START II would be set back.

 

The Legislation

The sanctions legislation requires the president to make a series of reports listing entities for which there is "credible evidence" showing assistance or attempted assistance in transferring ballistic missile components or technology to Iran. Unlike all other U.S. export control and non-proliferation measures, the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act does not require an entity to be aware of its involvement in prohibited trade to be in jeopardy of punishment. Although sanctions on the entities listed in the president's reports are automatic, the president can waive the sanctions if he certifies that doing so is "essential to the national security," or if he produces additional information proving a party's innocence.

Sanctions under the new measure can also be avoided if an entity is being punished under another U.S. non-proliferation law or if the entity engaged in proscribed actions on behalf of the U.S. government. Sanctioned entities are ineligible for at least two years to either import dual-use or munitions list items, or to receive any form of U.S. government assistance. Additionally, the sanctions bill includes the implementation legislation for the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which will make a veto decision more difficult for the president. (See "CWC Implementing Legislation...".) Without passing the CWC legislation, the United States will be in technical non-compliance with its treaty obligations.

Tehran is believed to be developing two intermediate-range ballistic missiles: the 1,300-kilometer-range Shahab-3, based on the North Korean Nodong missile, and the 2,000-kilometer-range Shahab-4, based on the Soviet SS-4. The United States also believes that Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons and is using civil nuclear technology as both a cover for illicit procurement activity and as a training ground for its nuclear specialists. Washington has persuaded China and Ukraine to end their civil nuclear commerce with Iran—which Tehran is entitled to as a non-nuclear-weapon state party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)—but has been unable to similarly convince Moscow.

Russia agreed in 1995 to complete for $850 million a 1,000-megawatt (electric) nuclear reactor in Iran at Bushehr that was left unfinished by the German company Siemens following Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979. Under pressure from the Clinton administration, in May 1995 Yeltsin agreed to limit the scope of Russia's nuclear cooperation with Iran to exclude provision of additional reactors, assistance with uranium mining or enrichment, and technology for spent fuel reprocessing.

In March, however, Russian and Iranian officials reached an agreement in principle to build two additional reactors at Bushehr, which Moscow believes are allowable within its 1995 commitment. According to the March 7 New York Times, work on the additional reactors would not begin until the first reactor is completed in 2001. Tehran also agreed to give Russia greater control over the construction at Bushehr, which has been plagued by engineering and financial delays.

On April 6, Russian Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeniy Adamov announced he would urge Russia's government to support a 1996 agreement with Iran to build a research reactor using low-enriched uranium fuel. Adamov suggested in light of signs of improvement in U.S.-Iranian relations, delay could result in Washington stealing the research reactor deal.

A delegation of Iranian officials led by Gholam Reza Agazadeh, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization met with Adamov in mid-May to discuss accelerating progress on the Bushehr reactor project. Adamov was cited by Radio Free Europe as saying during a May 11 interview that he had no doubt that Iran is trying to acquire the potential to produce nuclear weapons, but he insisted that the technology being transferred by Russia could not be misused for that purpose.

Senate Approves Sanctions Legislation Aimed at Russian-Iranian Missile Cooperation

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Pakistan, N. Korea Following Missile Test

April 1998

By Howard Diamond

In response to Pakistan's April 6 flight test of its new 1,500-kilometer-range Ghauri missile, the United States on April 17 imposed missile proliferation-related sanctions on Islamabad's premier weapons lab and a North Korean trading company. The missile test, which took place only nine days after India's parliament rejected a no-confidence vote on the new government of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, leader of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is widely seen as a warning that Pakistan will respond to attempts by New Delhi to alter the strategic status quo.

The Ghauri—believed to be based on North Korea's 1,000-kilometer-range Nodong missile—would, if deployed, allow Pakistan to target almost all of India, including New Delhi and India's key nuclear facilities on the Arabian Sea coast. The day after the flight test, a Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman claimed that the missile was an "indigenous effort," and downplayed the prospect that the test would disrupt relations with India. He also said, "We hope the U.S. would understand the threat we face and is aware and acutely conscious of what has been taking place across the border."

Pakistan tested the Ghauri only days before a delegation of high-ranking U.S. officials departed for a previously scheduled trip to India, Pakistan and other South Asian states. The group, led by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson, included Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth and National Security Council Senior Director Bruce Riedel. The delegation met with Vajpayee and other Indian officials on April 14 and 15, and then traveled to Islamabad, where they informed the goverment that sanctions would be imposed and urged Pakistan to refrain from any "new activities."

The U.S. sanctions, which became effective April 17, apply to the Khan Research Laboratories in Pakistan and the Changgwang Sinyong Corporation, also known as the North Korea Mining Development Corporation. Pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act that enforces the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the sanctions were applied for the transfer of whole ground-to-ground missiles or major sub-systems (so-called MTCR "Category I" systems) and a presidential determination that the transfer "substantially contributed" to the acquisition of proscribed missiles in a country that is not an MTCR member.

The two firms are prohibited from all U.S. government contracts, exports to the United States and imports of all items on the U.S. munitions list for a period of two years. Additionally, because North Korea is a non-market economy, the law requires the sanctions to be applied to all of Pyongyang's activities relating to missile equipment or technology, electronics, space systems and military aircraft. The sanctions were published in the Federal Register on May 4.

During its campaign, the BJP promised to "exercise" India's nuclear weapons option, raising fears of a new nuclear arms race between the two undeclared nuclear-weapon states. Since winning the parliamentary elections on March 3, statements by Vajpayee and his defense minister, Socialist George Fernandes, have shown signs of moderation, and New Delhi's public reaction to the Ghauri test has been restrained. On April 6, Fernandes said, "This development is not unexpected. We are capable of dealing with the situation in Pakistan. There is no part of Pakistan that is outside the range of the Prithvi missile."

India has been able to strike key portions of Pakistan since beginning serial production of the 150-kilometer-range variant of the Prithvi missile in 1995. India is developing 250- and 350-kilometer-range versions for its air force and navy, respectively. India is also developing the 2,000-kilometer-range Agni missile as a "technology demonstration project." In March, Fernandes said that Agni flight tests would resume if necessary, but that a decision would wait until a strategic review is completed by India's still unformed National Security Council. Some Indian officials would like to resume test flights and expand the missile's range to 5,000 kilometers.

Following the Ghauri test, Fernandes said April 7 that "[d]espite the existence of multilateral export control regimes, unilateral declarations of restraint and supply restrictions on producer countries," Islamabad was still able to proceed with development of the Ghauri missile. The Indian defense minister accused China of supporting Pakistan's missile program "despite having given an undertaking to the United States to do no such thing," a charge Beijing denies.

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Pakistan, N. Korea Following Missile Test

Russian Export Controls Fail to Stop Steel for Iranian Missile Program

April 1998

By Howard Diamond

Russia announced on April 7 that its Federal Security Service (FSB) had arrested three foreign citizens in connection with the attempted transfer of 22 tons of special alloy steel reportedly destined for Iran's ballistic missile development effort. Discrepancies in export documents accompanying the metal led Azerbaijani customs officials in the town of Astara (near the Iranian border) to impound the shipment on March 25. Employees of the Moscow warehouse where the shipment began claimed the steel "had been acquired from abroad," according to an April 8 FSB statement.

The incident again raises questions about Russia's ability to enforce its own export laws, including the "catch-all" export decree issued in January by former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. According to a State Department official, the steel falls "just on the other side" of the material restrictions in the Missile Technology Control Regime's (MTCR) technical annex, but remains controlled under the January "catch-all" provision because of its intended end-use.

Azerbaijan gave a sample of the steel to the United States for analysis which confirmed the material to be a specialized corrosion-resistant alloy suitable for use in fuel tanks for liquid-fueled missiles such as Iran is reported to be developing. On April 28, State Department spokesman James Foley said in spite of "significant progress over the last few months" in ending Russian cooperation with Iran's missile program, "[W]e believe important work remains to be done. We don't believe the file is closed."

According to an April 25 report in The New York Times, U.S. intelligence officials passed information describing the impending steel transfer to Moscow several days before the truck carrying the shipment began its trip to Iran. However, Russian authorities maintain that the intelligence lacked enough specificity to enable them to intervene. The New York Times reported the individuals subsequently arrested by the FSB were from Tajikistan.

Russian entities are believed to be a key source of advanced technology for Tehran's 1,300-kilometer-range Shahab-3 and 2,000-kilometer-range Shahab-4 missile programs. CIA Director George Tenet testified in January that Russian missile-related transfers have reduced the completion time of Tehran's programs which already acquired significant technical assistance from the North Korean Nodong missile program to only two or three years. Since January 1997, Russian firms are alleged to have provided Iran with special materials, wind-tunnel testing equipment, missile engine and guidance technology, and various types of advanced aerospace training and expertise. The FSB has even been alleged to have arranged exchanges of Russian and Iranian missile experts.

The State Department confirmed on April 16, that in March it circulated to U.S. government program managers a list of 20 Russian companies and entities believed to be connected with Iran's missile development effort that must now receive special permission from the State Department in order to proceed with joint non-proliferation projects.

The United States currently has in place two programs the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention through the Energy Department, and the International Science and Technology Centers (in Russia and Ukraine) organized by the State Department that arrange non-military cooperative projects to keep former Soviet weapons experts engaged in peaceful activites.

Under the new guidelines, program proposals involving any of the 20 firms will be reviewed by the State Department to "[ensure] that assistance is not provided to entities that may be engaged in activities of proliferation concern," said State Department spokesman James P. Rubin on April 16. Since March, three projects have been denied funding according to USA Today which first reported the list on April 16. The three canceled projects included the Baltic State Technical University in St. Petersburg, TsAGI (Russia's Central Aerodynamic Institute), and the Moscow Aviation Institute.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) has scheduled a vote in late May on a bill that would impose sanctions on any entity that assists Iran's missile program. The House passed the measure, which also contains the implementing legislation for U.S. obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, on a voice vote in November 1997. The Clinton administration, which believes the sanctions bill uses too low an evidentiary standard and would interfere with diplomatic efforts, has promised to veto the measure. In response to the news about the steel blocked in Azerbaijan, Lott told The New York Times the Senate would adopt the sanctions bill "if there's not major progress made in the next 30 days."

Russian Export Controls Fail to Stop Steel for Iranian Missile Program

U.S. Renews Effort to Bring China into Missile Control Regime

March 1998

By Howard Diamond

The Clinton administration dispatched two officials to Beijing in late March to measure Chinese interest in joining the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), an informal suppliers arrangement designed to stem the proliferation of ballistic missiles and their associated technologies. Acting Undersecretary of State John Holum and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robert Einhorn held talks with Chinese officials March 23-24 and 25-26 respectively, to determine if Beijing would be willing to expand its 1994 pledge to not sell complete ground-to-ground missile systems to include transfers of cruise missiles and materials and technologies listed in the MTCR's technical annex. China has traditionally shown little interest in informal arrangements like the MTCR.

The 29-member MTCR limits sales of missiles and missile technology for systems capable of delivering a 500-kilogram payload 300 kilometers or more, and plays a key role in controlling participation in the international space industry. MTCR members, who dominate the space market, limit their space cooperation with states that are not members or have not promised to abide by the regime's rules. Members base their missile export policies on the regime's guidelines, which call for a presumption to deny transfers of whole missiles and missile sub-systems (Category I), and the exercise of restraint in sales of missile-related materials and technologies (Category II) that are specified in the annex. The regime forbids transfers of complete missile production facilities. Washington is hoping to persuade Beijing to join the MTCR by emphasizing the benefits of increased access to U.S. satellite payloads for Chinese boosters. Each satellite launch can be worth between $40 million and $100 million.

According to a National Security Council memo leaked and reprinted in The Washington Times on March 23, the Clinton administration wants Beijing to establish effective export controls for missiles and missile technology, including so-called "catch-all" restrictions; end MTCR-controlled exports to all non-member states; and cut off all cooperation with Iran's ground-to-ground missile programs, including systems not covered by the MTCR's limits.

In exchange, Washington would support Chinese admission into the regime; conclude a peaceful and scientific space cooperation agreement with Beijing; issue a blanket waiver of Tiananmen Square sanctions relating to satellite launches; and increase the number of U.S. satellites that could be launched on Chinese rockets.

In January, Beijing promised to end its sales of anti-ship cruise missiles to Tehran. However, Washington is still concerned about allegations that China is providing assistance to Iran's 1,300-kilometer Shahab-3 and 2,000-kilometer Shahab-4 missile programs. The Clinton administration imposed missile-related sanctions on China in Augut 1993 for selling M-11 missiles to Islamabad, but lifted them in October 1994 after Beijing agreed to abide by the MTCR guidelines and not sell Category I items.

Beijing's subsequent compliance with the MTCR's rules has been questionable. In April 1997, Einhorn testified before a Senate panel that "the Chinese do not appear to interpret their responsibilities under the guidelines as restrictively as we do, or as other MTCR members do." 

Nuclear Sale to Iran Blocked

Washington's interest in bargaining over missile proliferation was previewed last fall when President Bill Clinton declared that he would put the long-dormant 1985 Sino-U.S. nuclear cooperation agreement into effect. Clinton based his decision on improved Chinese non-proliferation practices and a written pledge offered during his October summit meeting with Chinese President Jiang Zemin that Beijing would end its nuclear cooperation with Iran. On March 18, 30 legislative days after the administration submitted the necessary reports and certifications to Congress, the nuclear deal went into effect.

Near the end of the congressional review period though, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a closed hearing on March 12 to review intelligence revealing Iranian efforts to purchase anhydrous hydrogen fluoride (AHF) from China's state-owned nuclear technology firm. According to intelligence leaked to The Washington Post, the National Security Agency intercepted two telephone calls in mid-January between a senior Iranian official at the Isfahan Nuclear Research Center and a mid-level official at the China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation. The two reportedly negotiated the price and quantity of the purchase as well as discussing preparation of a cover story and falsified "end-user" documents. AHF, also known as hydrofluoric acid, has many common industrial uses, but is a key ingredient in the conversion of uranium ore (known as "yellow cake") into a gaseous form (uranium hexaflouride) suitable for enrichment.

Clinton administration officials intervened in early February, sending a demarche from national security advisor Samuel Berger to his Chinese counterpart, Liu Huaqiu, and calling Beijing's ambassador in for a meeting with National Security Council official Gary Samore and Einhorn.

Beijing reportedly protested that AHF does not appear on the control lists of either the Nuclear Suppliers Group or the Zangger Committee, but did assure Washington that the sale would not take place, reflecting the importance China associates with the nuclear cooperation agreement.

According to a State Department official, the AHF incident is only the latest event in Iran's continuing effort to acquire Chinese materials and technology for its clandestine nuclear weapons program. The official said formal contacts to block such sales are common, but he added, "[W]e have reason to know that the Chinese government has taken some actions to generically stop these transactions."

A majority staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is less convinced. Pointing to the AHF case and the 1995 ring magnet episode, the staffer complained that the administration "has a pattern of avoiding sanctions by saying 'these are renegades, the government didn't know about it, and they acted when we told them.'"

Unable to block the nuclear cooperation agreement from taking effect, some congressional Republicans are attempting to draft newrules for nuclear technology exports in order to keep a closer watch on China's proliferation practices. Hoping to imitate the Arms Export Control Act that provides members of congress with a formal process for reviewing weapons exports, Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) and Representative Benjamin Gilman (R-NY) the chairmen of the two foreign affairs committees attempted on March 12 to include new nuclear export rules in the conference report for the State Department authorization bill. Faced with uniform Democratic opposition and a request from the majority leadership, Gilman and Helms pulled the measure but promised to bring the issue up again later this year.

U.S. Renews Effort to Bring China into Missile Control Regime

U.S., Ukraine Sign Nuclear Accord, Agree on MTCR Accession

March 1998

By Howard Diamond

At a ceremony attended by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the United States and Ukraine signed a nuclear cooperation agreement on March 6, based on a new commitment by Kyiv to end its nuclear cooperation with Iran. In addition, Albright announced that the United States would support Ukraine's entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) without insisting that Kyiv give up all of its offensive missile programs, as Washington had previously demanded of all new members.

The MTCR is a 29-member informal suppliers arrangement which seeks to limit the transfer of ballistic missiles and missile technology for systems capable of delivering a 500-kilogram payload 300 kilometers or more. Ukraine's entry into the MTCR will ease its participation in the global space market, which is dominated by the United States and other MTCR members who restrict their space cooperation with non-member states.

Ukraine's insistence on maintaining the right to produce offensive missiles had been a sticking point in negotiations with Washington about bringing Kyiv into the MTCR. (See ACT, April 1997.) As part of the March agreement, Ukraine will keep its hundreds of Scud missiles—the type of rocket MTCR was specifically designed to counter—through the end of their service lives, and will not forswear future production of short-range missiles should Kyiv find it necessary. When asked about Ukraine's Scuds, a State Department official said, "We've discussed their plans, and we're content their plans are compatible with MTCR membership."

This arrangement constitutes a major change in U.S. policy. To prevent the MTCR from becoming a missile technology "supermarket," the Clinton administration since 1993 had insisted that prospective member-states give up their offensive missile programs—except for the five nuclear weapon-states—as a condition for MTCR membership. As all MTCR decisions are made by consensus, Washington holds an effective veto over membership decisions.

Kyiv's commitment to end its nuclear commerce with Tehran was described by Albright as an act of "great statesmanship" and is expected by U.S. officials to delay the completion of Iran's 1,000-megawatt (electric) nuclear reactor project being completed by Russia at Bushehr. German-owned Siemens abandoned the project in 1979 following Iran's Islamic revolution. Russia signed a contract to install a VVER-1000-type reactor in January 1995. Ukraine's AOA Turboatom of Kharkiv was expected to provide a custom-built $45 million turbine for the $850 million light-water reactor project.

Moscow has said that it will produce the turbine itself from a plant near St. Petersburg, contradicting a U.S. official who said, "[N]obody else in the world makes them, such that they could be bought off the shelf for Bushehr." Moscow's assessment was shared by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, who said at the signing ceremony for the nuclear accord that Russia would have no difficulty in building the turbines for Bushehr themselves.

Possibly responding to Washington's ongoing efforts to block progress on the Bushehr project, Georgy Kaurov, spokesman for Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy, said on March 6 that Moscow had reached an agreement in principle with Tehran on building two additional reactors at Bushehr.

Despite Iran's membership in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Washington believes Tehran is secretly trying to acquire nuclear weapons. Although NPT members in good standing are entitled to receive peaceful nuclear technology, the Clinton administration has sought to end other nations' civil nuclear commerce with Iran as a condition for nuclear cooperation with the United States.

In October 1997, Beijing agreed to end its nuclear dealings with Iran after finishing two projects of negligible proliferation concern. Moscow, however, while refusing to sell uranium enrichment technology to Iran, has maintained that civil power reactors pose no proliferation risk, and has rejected the Clinton administration's efforts to bring an end to its nuclear cooperation with Tehran.

At the signing ceremony for the U.S.-Ukrainian nuclear deal, Kuchma pointed out that the financial rewards of participation in international space launch projects such as "Sea Launch" and "Globalstar" will more than compensate for the loss of nuclear commerce with Iran. The two projects promise dozens of potential launch contracts for Ukraine's space industry, with each contract worth $40 million or more.

U.S. firms are also set to benefit from the agreements reached in Kyiv. In particular, General Electric has indicated its readiness to complete two Russian-origin nuclear reactors at Khmelnitskiy and Rivno. Finishing the two plants will cost $1.2 billion but will enable Ukraine to permanently close Chernobyl. Secretary Albright also pointed out that the nuclear cooperation agreement will open the way for Ukraine to diversify its options for purchasing nuclear reactor fuel.

U.S., Ukraine Sign Nuclear Accord, Agree on MTCR Accession

U.S., Russia Take New Steps to Control Technology Transfers to Iran

March 1998

By Howard Diamond

With the threat of congressionally imposed sanctions on Russia hanging over their discussions, Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin agreed to increase bilateral efforts to prevent Russian ballistic missile and other types of dangerous technology from leaking to Iran. Meeting in Washington March 10 and 11 for the 10th meeting of the so-called Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission (GCC), the two leaders agreed to deploy "joint teams" to monitor the implementation of the "catch-all" executive order issued by Chernomyrdin in January to block the transfer of technology for weapons of mass destruction not specifically regulated in Russian laws. (See ACT, January/February 1998.)

Gore told reporters, "By working together on export controls on weapons, weapons materials, and dual-use goods, I believe we can—and we will—strengthen existing international non-proliferation regimes and promote regional stability." Gore also described Russia's policy on non-proliferation as "exactly correct."

The Clinton administration has been pressing Moscow to crack down on transfers of Russian ballistic missile expertise and technology to Iran since January 1997. CIA Director George Tenet testified in January that due to acquisition of Russian technology, the estimated deployment dates of Iran's two medium-range missiles in development, the 1,300-kilometer Shahab-3 and the 2,000-kilometer Shahab-4, have been moved up from 10 years or less, to only two or three years.

Since July 1997, Washington has tried to improve cooperation with Moscow in preventing missile technology transfers by sharing intelligence in meetings between U.S. special envoy Frank Wisner and Yuri Koptev, chief of the Russian Space Agency. Wisner's fifth meeting with Koptev took place one week before the March GCC meeting and included Robert Gallucci (negotiator of the 1994 U.S.-North Korean Agreed Framework), who is replacing Wisner.

Although U.S. officials claim the intelligence-swapping sessions together with increased Russian enforcement efforts are making a difference, reports of on-going cooperation between Russian firms—and allegedly even Moscow's intelligence service—and Iran's missile development program continue to surface. Moscow's Federal Security Service was reported by The Washington Times in February o be involved in arranging exchanges of Russian and Iranian missile experts. A subsequent Washington Post story on March 23, citing Russian sources, reported that Moscow will end the intelligence service's role in procuring Russian missile specialists for Tehran.

In addition to providing information through the Wisner-Koptev mechanism, Washington has pushed Moscow to adopt the "catch-all" controls issued by Chernomyrdin in January. Moscow had previously claimed that the gaps in Russian export control laws provided Iran and Russian firms with loopholes they used to export sensitive missile technologies.

The new "catch-all" measure requires Russian businesses to cooperate with Moscow in preventing sales of material and technology where there is reason to believe the sale could lead to proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons or ballistic missiles. U.S. officials have praised the "catch-all" decree as an important step in the right direction, but have insisted that its true value will depend on its implementation.

U.S. concern about how the decree is put into effect spurred the new arrangement on "joint work pursuant to export controls." The latest Gore-Chernomyrdin agreement will allow U.S. officials to be involved in Russian efforts to improve their export control system. Specifically, Washington is planning to share software and hardware used in the United States to prevent proliferation-sensitive exports.

While continuing to insist it has done nothing wrong, Moscow faces two substantial incentives to cooperate with Washington. First, Congress is near passing the "Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act," which would effectively bar U.S.-Russian cooperation on the $21 billion international space station and impose penalties on Russian firms that have been linked to Tehran's missile program. The Journal of Commerce reported on February 27 that, at the request of the CIA, a provision was added to the sanctions act that exempts from sanctions any foreign entity that "has engaged in a transfer or transaction, or made an attempt, on behalf of, or in concert with, the government of the United States." The sanctions measure, which passed the House on a voice vote in November and has 82 Senate co-sponsors, has been held up in the Senate in order to give the Clinton administration time to make progress at the March Gore-Chernomyrdin meeting.

The Senate's forbearance, however, may not last. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ben Nighthorse Cambell (R-CO), together with 45 colleagues, sent Gore a letter prior to his meeting with Chernomyrdin specifying steps they expect Russia to take in order to hold off the sanctions bill. The senators' letter called for a public campaign by Moscow against transfers of dangerous technology, the arrest of Russians and Iranians involved in such deals, and passage of new export control laws by the Duma.

In addition to the stick of sanctions, U.S. officials are also holding up the carrot of increasing the number of foreign satellites that can be launched on Russian rockets. In 1996, Moscow and Washington agreed to limits on the use of Russian boosters to protect U.S. space companies. Since then, U.S. firms have embraced international consortiums as a model for the space industry and are now pushing to increase the use of Russian launchers for commercial satellites. Last year, 18 of Russia's 48 satellite launches carried payloads for U.S. firms, each worth $60 million to $100 million. Just prior to the GCC meeting, U.S. officials briefed reporters on Washington's willingness to reconsider the quotas on Russian launch vehicles, but cautioned that progress on the space issue would depend on Russia's ability to control transfers of missile technology to Iran.

U.S., Russia Take New Steps to Control Technology Transfers to Iran

Iraq Strikes New Deal On Inspections at Special Sites

By Howard Diamond and Erik J. Leklem

With a U.S.-led strike on Iraq possibly only days off, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan brokered an 11th hour deal with Saddam Hussein, averting what could have been the most significant conflict in the region since the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The new agreement ended a three month standoff between Iraq and the international community by providing UN weapons inspectors access to eight so-called presidential sites Baghdad had previously declared off limits. A seven point memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by Annan and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz on February 23 provides special procedures for inspections of presidential sites where UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors will have to be accompanied by diplomats.

Since last December, UNSCOM has been seeking access to the presidential compounds to search for documents and computer data it believes Iraq has hidden in an attempt to deny the information to inspectors. Although UNSCOM and IAEA inspectors are supposed to have complete access to all sites in Iraq in order to verify the elimination of Baghdad's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their ballistic missile delivery systems, Iraq has refused to provide access to the so called "presidential and sovereign" sites. The new agreement, while reaffirming the inspectors' right to "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access" to presidential and all other sites, recognizes Baghdad's concerns about the composition and conduct of UNSCOM's teams and the sensitivity of the presidential sites.

According to the MOU, inspections of presidential sites will be conducted by a Special Group composed of senior diplomats appointed by Annan, and experts drawn from UNSCOM and IAEA. Annan announced on February 26 that Sri Lankan Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala, the new UN undersecretary general for disarmament, would be leading the Special Group as commissioner. Dhanapala achieved acclaim in 1995 for shepherding the indefinite extension of the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty through the treaty review conference.

UNSCOM Executive Chairman Richard Butler of Australia said Dhanapala would be reporting to him and that he was "delighted" with the secretary general's selection. As of the end of February, procedures for the Special Group were still being worked out at the UN, and regular UNSCOM inspections into Iraq's past weapons programs and concealment activities were expected to resume in early March.

Clinton Cautious

The Clinton administration has offered cautious approval of the Annan Aziz deal, but insists that with seveal details of the presidential inspections agreement to be worked out, final judgment should wait until the new procedures are tested. President Bill Clinton has said the new arrangements could enable UNSCOM to fulfill its mandate, "but the proof is in the testing." Clinton said he intends to keep the U.S. strike force deployed in the Persian Gulf until the new inspection arrangements are in effect and Iraqi compliance is confirmed.

Republican reaction to the secretary general's diplomacy was mixed. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) complained "it is always possible to get a deal if you give enough away," while two top leaders of the House of Representatives, Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and Majority leader Dick Armey (R-TX) took a wait and see approach. Other Republicans objecting to the secretary general's deal included the chairmen of the foreign affairs committees, Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) and House International Affairs Committee Chairman Benjamin Gilman (R-NY), as well as House National Security Committee Chairman Floyd Spence (R-SC).

Annan's trip to Baghdad came after three months of escalating tension over UNSCOM's ability to inspect all sites within Iraq. Last November, only days after accepting a Russian diplomatic initiative to resolve the October 29 to November 22 stand-off over UNSCOM's right to use American inspectors, Baghdad began warning that special sites reflective of Iraq's sovereignty and security would be off-limits to UN inspectors.

At the urging of the Security Council, Butler traveled to Baghdad for meetings with Aziz on December 14 and 15 to discuss ways to accelerate progress on verifying the elimination of proscribed weapons and to seek clarification of Iraq's position on access. In the meetings, Baghdad made clear that "presidential and sovereign sites" were off limits to UNSCOM. Aziz also declared that Iraq had completely divested itself of all of its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and would no longer offer new data to UNSCOM. After declining Butler's request to develop a joint program for accelerating UNSCOM's work, Aziz proposed holding technical evaluation meetings (TEMs) where outside experts and UNSCOM staff would meet with Iraqi officials and assess Baghdad's disarmament achievements. 

Assessing Iraqi Compliance

Butler accepted the Iraqi proposal for TEMs and agreed to schedule meetings on the chemical agent VX, missile warheads and the entire biological weapons file. In response to Iraq's declaration that no access would be given to presidential sites, on December 22 the UN Security Council issued a statement rejecting the Iraqi position and again insisted that weapons inspectors were entitled to complete access to all parts of Iraq.

On January 13, six days before Butler's scheduled trip to Baghdad to arrange the TEMs, Iraq blocked a team of UNSCOM inspectors led by American Scott Ritter. Unwilling to accept Baghdad's limits on the nationalities of inspectors, Butler pulled Ritter and his team out of Iraq on January 16 but kept UNSCOM's monitoring and verification staff in their Baghdad headquarters. Backed by another Security Council statement demanding Iraqi compliance with UN resolutions, Butler returned to Baghdad for meetings January 19 to 21 with Tariq Aziz.

Iraq, Aziz said, had already fulfilled its disarmament obligations and would not allow inspections of its eight presidential compounds. Baghdad was ready for war if it came as a result, he said.

Amid Butler's December and January trips to Baghdad, U.S. and British officials reiterated their readiness to use force against Iraq and began pressing allies and members of the Security Council to support military action against Iraq. Following a meeting with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on January 29, French Foreign Minister Herbert Vedrine announced France would not oppose military action, but still believed in finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Iraq.

U.S. officials were unable to obtain even passive support from Russia and China. Days before strikes were expected in late February, Moscow and Beijing were still outspoken opponents of using force against Iraq. Arab states in the Gulf were more forthcoming, offering varying levels of cooperation and support for U.S. airstrikes. Bahrain and Kuwait offered Washington bases for strike aircraft, while Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates gave permission for cargo, refueling and airborne warning jets to operate from their soil.

Unresolved Issues

Washington initially emphasized using force to coerce Baghdad into giving full access to UNSCOM inspectors by attacking the key supports of Saddam Hussein's power. As criticism of this approach mounted in late January, however, the administration changed its objective to punishing Baghdad by degrading Iraq's production facilities for proscribed weapons and its ability to threaten its neighbors. The administration also continued to build up the largest assembly of warships and attack aircraft in the Persian Gulf since the 1991 war. By mid February the United States and allies had sent over 30,000 military personnel, 20 warships and 400 combat aircraft to the Gulf area to prepare for strikes on Iraq.

Washington and London also began providing assessments of the outstanding issues remaining in Baghdad's compliance with Security Council resolutions, in attempts to justify military action against Iraq. On February 4, British Foreign Minister Robin Cook released a White Paper arguing that Iraq retained or had not accounted for: chemical precursors that could be used to produce over 200 tons of VX; 17 metric tons of biological growth media that could be used to produce "up to 350 liters of weapons grade anthrax per week;" and continuing efforts by Baghdad "to acquire banned WMD technology," including "advanced missile guidance parts."

The British paper was followed on February 15 by a more detailed report released by the U.S. National Security Council (NSC). Starting with the extensive record of Iraqi interference with inspections and refusal to provide necessary documentation, the NSC report detailed continuing concerns in the nuclear, chemical, biological and missile areas.

According to the NSC paper, Iraq continues to hide or cannot verify the elimination of 25 missile warheads filled with anthrax, botulinum toxin or aflatoxin; 45 to 70 missile warheads for use with chemical agents, 134 aerial bombs and a small number of aerosol spraers for delivering biological agents; and a stockpile of as much as 600 metric tons of VX, sarin, mustard agents and associated munitions and production equipment. Baghdad may also have a small force of SCUD type missiles and the capability to make more. In the nuclear file, Iraq continues "to withhold significant information about enrichment techniques, foreign procurement, weapons design andpostwar concealment," suggesting continued interest in nuclear weapons.

The U.S. and British assessments were supported by reports from the VX and missile warhead TEMs that met in early February. Both panels, after meetings with Iraqi officials, confirmed UNSCOM's judgment that Iraq had not provided sufficient information to confirm the destruction of the proscribed weapons and production facilities associated with them. An UNSCOM source said the missile warhead meeting produced no new information and described it as a political maneuver by Iraq to try to undercut UNSCOM. The biological weapons TEM was delayed due to the political crisis of February and has been rescheduled for mid March in New York, according to UNSCOM officials.

With UN officials working out the details of the Annan Aziz deal, analysts are attempting to assess its likelihood of success as well as the long term effect the new arrangements will have on UNSCOM. Critics of the new arrangement, including previous UNSCOM inspectors, cite the new deal as evidence of success in Baghdad's campaign to discredit the UN inspection regime and challenge the integrity of its inspectors.

Others are more sanguine. Chief weapons inspector Butler quickly voiced his approval of the new arrangement, which he had himself proposed during his January meetings in Baghdad. Some U.S. officials, while remaining skeptical of Saddam's willingness to cooperate, have suggested that if Iraq fails to comply with the new arrangements, Washington will be well situated to demand international support for military action.

Iraq Strikes New Deal On Inspections at Special Sites

Russia Issues New Export Decree To Stem Missile Transfers to Iran

By Howard Diamond

Following a A year of steady high-level U.S. diplomatic pressure, Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin on January 22, issued a new "catch-all" regulation to cut off the flow of Russian technology and materials to Iran's ballistic missile development effort. The edict will—if fully implemented—close an important gap in Russian export laws and regulations that Iran has used to acquire technologies not explicitly listed for control, according to an administration official. The decree, which took effect immediately, could also provide the Clinton administration with the leverage it needs to halt congressional efforts to sanction Moscow for past transfers of missile technology.

The new regulation requires Russian businesses to forgo transactions of dual-use nuclear, chemical, biological or missile technology or services when they know or have reason to know of a proliferation end-use, and report to Moscow all proposed contracts of restricted dual-use materials and technology. The decree is similar to parts of the 1991 Enhanced Proliferation Control Initiative (EPCI) in the United States and like measures in other countries that require industry cooperation in controlling potentially dangerous exports. Such measures, however, depend heavily on government efforts to advise businesses of customers to avoid, as well as the willingness of companies to abstain from illegal but often lucrative deals.

The U.S. official said that over the long term, the effectiveness of the decree will depend on whether Moscow puts up the money to support a solid export control regime—something the United States will be watching closely. He added that Moscow appears to be taking new steps to end the transfer of missile technology by limiting access for Iranian students to advanced aerospace training and warning both Russian companies and Tehran that leaks of Russian ballistic missile technology will not be tolerated.

The Clinton administration has made stopping Tehran's drive to acquire nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as ballistic missiles for their delivery, one of its highest priorities, and has won pledges from both Russia and China to either cut off or limit their cooperation with Iran. Beijing has promised Washington that it will end its nuclear cooperation and sales of anti-ship cruise missiles to Iran. (See page 30.) Moscow, on the other hand, while pledging not to sell weapons or nuclear enrichment and reprocessing technologies to Iran, has rejected White House requests not to finish the German-origin 1,000-megawatt (electric) light-water reactor project at Bushehr on the Iranian coast.

Iran's Missile Efforts

Washington believes Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons in spite of its membership as a non-nuclear-weapon state in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and is concerned Tehran is now developing missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads. News reports based on U.S. intelligence claim Tehran is trying to produce two types of medium-range missiles: the 1,300-kilometer Shahab-3, based on the North Korean Nodong missile, with a 750-kilogram payload; and the 2,000-kilometer Shahab-4, alleged to be based on the Soviet SS-4 missile, with a 1,000-kilogram payload.

CIA Director George Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee on January 28 that much of Iran's progress in moving up the deployment dates for the two missiles—from the 1997 estimate of 10 years or less to the current estimate of only two or three years—is due to assistance from Russian companies. Leaked U.S. and Israeli intelligence reports have suggested widespread Russian cooperation with Iran on engine technology, guidance systems and special materials, and have named several entities including Rosvoorouzhenie, the state arms-export agency; the Bauman Institute, an advanced technical education center; the companies NPO Trud, Polyus and Inor; as well as the Russian Space Agency (RSA) and its director, Yuri Koptev.

Koptev's name has sparked special concern because he has been leading the Russian side in bilateral efforts to address U.S. concerns about the missile technology leaks. According to the administration official, however, the accusations about him and the RSA are not accurate. Koptev's and the RSA's involvement with Iran, he said, has been limited to discussions of peaceful space cooperation and satellites.

Since July 1997, Koptev has met four times with U.S. special envoy Ambassador Frank Wisner as part of an ongoing diplomatic mechanism to assess U.S. intelligence showing possible technology transfers to Tehran and to discuss ways of preventing them. Koptev told reporters on January 30 that out of 13 warnings, Washington's intelligence has produced only two cases in which Russian officials found illicit activities. Wisner's last visit to Moscow, on January 13, was described by U.S. officials as his most productive trip yet. Wisner is expected to make another trip to Russia prior to the March 9-11 meetings in Washington of the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission which has also been addressing the missile technology issue.

Signs of progress through the Wisner-Koptev mechanism and Moscow's recent promulgation of the export decree have put the Clinton administration in a delicate position with regard to punishing Russian entities for past cooperation with Iran's missile program. U.S. laws enforcing the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) require sanctions if entities in a member-state violate the regime's prohibition on selling missiles or missile technology for systems capable of delivering a 500 kilogram payload over 300 kilometers without the member-state taking adequate investigative or enforcement action. Sanctions could also be imposed under the EPCI at the president's choosing. According to the administration official, however, discretionary sanctions under the EPCI would be counterproductive. The administration has yet to make a determination with regard to the companies' legal culpability under U.S. sanctions laws.

Congressional Action

Its apparent reluctance to "get tough" on Moscow and impose sanctions has been critically received on Capitol Hill and has prompted new legislation aimed at sanctioning Russia. Prior to ending its last session on November 12, the House of Representatives adopted, by a voice vote, the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act of 1997, intended to punish any entity that provides technology or assistance to Tehran's ballistic missile program.

Senate Democrats blocked a move to quickly adopt the House bill and, at the administration's request, the Senate has held off further consideration of the measure. According to one Hill staffer, even with 84 co-sponsors, Senate action on the measure is unlikely until after the GCC meeting in March in order to give the administration time to work with Moscow on concrete steps to stop the missile technology leaks.

In addition to sanctioning entities found to be assisting Tehran's missile program, the legislation also includes the implementation language for the Chemical Weapons Convention, making the bill harder for the president to veto. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and National Security Advisor Samuel Berger have already stated, however, that the president will not accept the measure as it now stands.

The administration's chief objections are that the proposed statute will undermine the diplomatic efforts that are showing signs of success and that, unlike other U.S. laws, the new sanctions bill doesn't require a high-standard of evidence or even an exporter's awareness of complicity in proliferation efforts to be liable for punishment. Sanctions would also have to be imposed within 30 days of receiving "credible evidence" of an entity's involvement in Iran's missile program, opening the possibility of sanctions being imposed erroneously. The bill does allow for a presidential waiver, but only where doing so is "essential to the national security of the United States."

Russia Issues New Export Decree To Stem Missile Transfers to Iran

U.S., Russian Missile Commanders Agree to New Transparency Measures

GENERAL EUGENE Habiger, commander in chief of U.S. Strategic Command, and Colonel General Vladimir Yakovlev, head of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, have agreed to an exchange of officers for the purpose of observing each other's nuclear command and control procedures. In a November 4 Defense Department briefing, Habiger outlined the nature of these exchanges and indicated that, on the basis of his observations and conversations with high level Russian officials during his October 22 28 visit to Russia, he is confident that Moscow's nuclear arsenal is safe and secure.

During his trip, Habiger examined a nuclear weapons storage facility at Kostroma, a rail mobile SS 24 ICBM base located approximately 300 kilometers northeast of Moscow. Habiger said he was impressed with its safety and security procedures and was assured that Kostroma was "representative" of ICBM bases throughout Russia. As an example of these security measures, he said access to nuclear weapons in Russia requires the presence of three people, whereas the United States has a two person policy.

Under the proposed exchanges, which could begin within the next few weeks, a team of four or five Russian specialists would visit a U.S. ICBM base to observe the safety and security procedures instituted at nuclear weapon storage facilities. A team of U.S. specialists would also have similar access in Russia. Habiger and Yakovlev also agreed to establish a so called "shadow program," under which Russia would send the equivalent of a wing commander, a squadron commander, a flight commander and a missile crew member to the United States to shadow their respective counterparts for a one week period. A similar U.S. team would pay a reciprocal visit to a Russian missile base.

Habiger said he also had access to various Russian nuclear command and control centers, from the national level down to the unit level. In an apparent effort to alleviate lingering concerns about an accidental or unauthorized Russian nuclear launch, he stated that these centers seek to function in a "fail safe" mode, whereby any one of the centers (even at the unit level) can inhibit the launch of an ICBM.

During his Pentagon briefing, Habiger also discussed Russia's plans to modernize its strategic nuclear forces. He said the single warhead SS 27, which will constitute the backbone of the Russian ICBM force under START II, is expected to achieve initial operational capability around the middle of 1998. Habiger noted that Russia laid the keel for a new class of ballistic missile submarines (known as the Borey) in the fall of 1996, which is expected to become operational around 2005. As for its bomber force, he said Russia has a research and development program for a new air launched cruise missile and that new Blackjack bombers may come on line in the near future.

Habiger noted that the Russians did not modernize their strategic forces during the 1980s when the United States was moving forward with systems such as the B 2 bomber, the Trident submarine and the corresponding D 5 ballistic missile. As a result, he pointed out that Russia is pushing hard for a START III agreement in part because the service life of its systems, including the SS 18 ICBM, is "coming to an end."

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Missile Proliferation