Skip to comments.Russia, N.Korea, China give Iran missile aid -CIA
Posted on 09/08/2001 10:29:44 PM PDT by Typhoon
LatelineNews: 2001-9-8] WASHINGTON - Russian, North Korean and Chinese "entities" supplied fresh ballistic missile-related equipment and know-how to Iran last year, moving it toward self-sufficiency in long-range missile production, CIA Director George Tenet told Congress on Friday.
In an unclassified version of a report on deadly weapons mandated by law, Tenet said Iran remained one of the most active seekers of foreign technology for developing and delivering weapons of mass destruction, Reuters reported.
During the period covered by the report -- July 1 to Dec. 31, 2000 -- Tehran was described as pressing ahead with an effort to develop a domestic capability to build chemical, biological and nuclear weapons plus their delivery systems.
The U.S. intelligence community predicts that within the next 15 years, the United States most likely will face intercontinental ballistic missile threats from North Korea, probably from Iran and possibly from Iraq -- barring big changes in their political bearings.
he second half of 2000, entities in Russia, North Korea and China continued to supply crucial ballistic missile-related equipment, technology and expertise to Iran," Tenet said.
Tehran -- branded the most active state sponsor of terrorism by Washington -- is using such foreign aid in purpose often cited by the Bush administration as driving its push to build a multilayered anti-missile shield over the objections of Russia, China and many U.S. allies.
The CIA report said North Korea continued procurement of raw materials and components for its ballistic missile programs from "various foreign sources, especially through North Korean firms based in China."
"We assess that North Korea is capable of producing and delivering via munitions a wide variety of chemical and biological agents," Tenet said.
Russian entities, meanwhile, remained a significant source for Iran of biotechnology, chemicals and other equipment with potential military application.
The expertise and technology gained, along with the commercial contacts established -- particularly through the Bushehr project -- "could be used to advance Iran's nuclear weapons research and development program," it said.
"The Russian government, moreover, failed to enforce its export controls in some cases regarding Iran," Tenet added.
During the last six months of the year, China likewise "continued to take a very narrow interpretation of its bilateral nonproliferation commitments with the United States," he said.
Last November, China committed not to assist, in any way, any country in the development of ballistic missiles that can be used to deliver nuclear weapons.
But Chinese entities, unnamed in the report's unclassified version, provided Pakistan with missile-related technical assistance in the second half of last year, the CIA director said.
North Korea, for its part, continued to export significant ballistic missile-related equipment, components, materials and technical know-how to countries in the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa last year, the report said