04 June 2003

Iran Developing a Clandestine Nuclear Program, Bolton Says

(Congressional testimony on post-Iraq nonproliferation policies) (6630)

The top State Department arms control official testified before a
Congressional committee June 4 that the United States has seen
indications for some time that Iran is developing a clandestine
nuclear weapons program.

Iran is developing "a uranium mine, a uranium conversion facility, a
massive uranium enrichment facility designed to house tens of
thousands of centrifuges, and a heavy water production plant," said
John Bolton, under secretary of state for arms control and
international security. He said such a facility would support the
production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for nuclear

"While Iran claims that its nuclear program is peaceful and
transparent, we are convinced it is otherwise," Bolton said, adding
that "One unmistakable indicator of military intent is the secrecy and
lack of transparency surrounding Iran's nuclear activities."

Bolton testified at a U.S. House of Representatives International
Relations Committee hearing examining U.S. nonproliferation policies
in the aftermath of the conflict in Iraq.

"The United States and its allies," he noted, "expressed concern at
the Evian G-8 [Group of Eight industrialized nations] Summit about
Iran's covert nuclear weapons program, stating that 'we will not
ignore proliferation implications of Iran's advanced nuclear program'
and that 'we offer our strongest support to comprehensive IAEA
[International Atomic Energy Agency] examination of this country's
nuclear program.'"

Bolton said "The world has put Iran on notice that it must stop
pursuing nuclear weapons."

Bolton said coalition forces acted to enforce U.N. Security Council
Resolutions when Iraq actively pursued WMD and harbored terrorists.
"As part of the coalition effort to establish an Iraq that is at peace
with itself and its neighbors, and that poses no threat to
international peace and security, we will make sure that the Iraqi
people are assured that Iraq's capacity for weapons of mass
destruction has been eliminated," he said.

He called the establishment and deployment of the Iraq Survey Group
(ISG) "a significant expansion of the coalition's hunt for Iraqi WMD."

In announcing the hearing, the committee cited heightened concerns
about developments in North Korea since late December 2002. Bolton
testified that North Korea's nuclear weapons program presents a clear
threat to regional and global security as well as a major challenge to
the international nonproliferation regime.

He noted that a strongly worded statement issued at the G-8 Summit
urged North Korea to comply with IAEA safeguards and dismantle its
nuclear weapons programs.

Bolton also called attention to the Proliferation Security Initiative
announced by President Bush in Krakow, Poland on May 31, which is
aimed at creating enhanced cooperation among friends and allies in the
interdiction of WMD or missile-related shipments. "Our goal is to work
with other concerned states to develop new means to disrupt the
proliferation trade at sea, in the air, and on land," he said.

Following is the text of Bolton's prepared remarks:

(begin text)

Committee on International Relations U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.

Testimony of
John R. Bolton
Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security
U.S. Department of State

June 4, 2003

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, for the
opportunity to appear before you today. Last week in Poland, President
Bush said that the greatest threat to peace is the spread of nuclear,
chemical, and biological weapons, and announced a new effort to fight
proliferation. I am here today to discuss America's battle against the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and our new approach to
this threat. I will summarize my prepared statement, which I ask be
included in the record, and would be pleased to answer any questions
the Committee may have.

On May 31st in Krakow, Poland, President Bush announced a new effort
to combat weapons of mass destruction (WMD), called the Proliferation
Security Initiative. Our goal is to work with other concerned states
to develop new means to disrupt the proliferation trade at sea, in the
air, and on land. The initiative reflects the need for a more dynamic,
proactive approach to the global proliferation problem. It envisions
partnerships of states working in concert, employing their national
capabilities to develop a broad range of legal, diplomatic, economic,
military and other tools to interdict threatening shipments of WMD-
and missile-related equipment and technologies. To jumpstart this
initiative, we have begun working with several close friends and
allies to expand our ability to stop and seize suspected WMD
transfers. Over time, we will extend this partnership as broadly as
possible to keep the world's most destructive weapons away from our
shores and out of the hands of our enemies.

We aim ultimately not just to prevent the spread of WMD, but also to
eliminate or "roll back" such weapons from rogue states and terrorist
groups that already possess them or are close to doing so. While we
stress peaceful and diplomatic solutions to the proliferation threat,
as President Bush has said repeatedly, we rule out no options. To do
so would give the proliferators a safe haven they do not deserve, and
pose a risk to our innocent civilian populations and those of our
friends and allies.

Principles of nonproliferation are known and formally accepted around
the world. But, they are too often ignored and flagrantly violated by
determined states that view WMD as integral to their survival and
international influence. Many of these states are nearly immune to
conventional diplomatic dialogue. While we pursue diplomatic dialogue
wherever possible, the United States and its allies must be willing to
deploy more robust techniques, such as (1) economic sanctions; (2)
interdiction and seizure, as I outlined earlier; and (3) as the case
of Iraq demonstrates, preemptive military force where required. The
pursuit of WMD and ballistic missile delivery systems cannot be cost
free. Proliferators -- and especially states still deliberating
whether to seek WMD -- must understand that they will pay a high price
for their efforts. In short, if the language of persuasion fails,
these states must see and feel the logic of adverse consequences.
Moreover, the logic of adverse consequences must fall not only on the
states aspiring to possess these weapons, but on the states supplying
them as well.

The Axis of Evil

In Iraq, coalition forces acted to enforce U.N. Security Council
resolutions and have assumed the responsibility of disarming Iraq --
an Iraq that both actively pursued weapons of mass destruction and
harbored terrorists on the most-wanted lists. As part of the Coalition
effort to establish an Iraq that is at peace with itself and its
neighbors, and that poses no threat to international peace and
security, we will make sure that the Iraq disarmament effort is
comprehensive, and that the international community and the Iraqi
people are assured that Iraq's capacity for weapons of mass
destruction has been eliminated. The Coalition is committed to
conducting disarmament in a methodical manner. With the passage of
U.N. Security Council resolution 1483, the shape and scope of any
future U.N. role regarding Iraq's WMD programs, in this new context,
remain under consideration.

Saddam Hussein's Iraq had a robust program to develop all types of
weapons of mass destruction -- nuclear, biological, and chemical
weapons, and the capability to deliver them. CIA determined in its
recent Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Weapons
of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Weapons that Iraq
continued its efforts to develop a nuclear bomb, and could have
produced one within one year if it had been able to acquire
weapons-grade fissile material abroad. CIA also determined that Iraq
had biological weapons (BW) and chemical weapons (CW) programs.
UNMOVIC concurred with this assessment and maintained that Iraq had
not been forthcoming about its weapons programs and retained the
ability for large-scale production of BW and CW weapons. UNMOVIC
concluded that Iraq did not destroy about 10,000 liters of anthrax.
UNMOVIC also reported that Iraq never accounted for an estimated 6,000
missing CW munitions.

Although we have not yet found Iraq's cache of CW weapons, the
plethora of chemical weapons suits we have found indicated that these
weapons must have been there -- and in abundance. But more important,
we have put an end to Saddam's capacity to produce and reacquire these
weapons. That capability -- the potential Saddam had to restock his
chemical, biological or nuclear weapons caches using his army of
trained scientists -- coupled with Saddam's demonstrated willingness
to use these weapons posed a real threat to the civilized world.

The clearest example of Iraq's WMD program we have found so far has
been the mobile BW laboratories. CIA and DIA recently released an
unclassified white paper on the labs that explained why biological
weapons production was the only logical use of these labs. The CIA/DIA
case is compelling and carefully deals with alternate uses and the
cover stories Iraq devised to prevent U.N. inspectors from discerning
the actual purpose of the mobile labs. As you know, the mobile BW labs
were one of the examples of Iraq's WMD programs that Secretary Powell
described in his speech to the U.N. Security Council.

The range of Iraq's Al-Samoud and Al-Fatah missiles violated U.N.
Security Council resolution 687's limitation of 150 kilometers. CIA
believes that Iraq was also developing longer range missiles. As you
know, Iraq fired a handful of its missiles at Kuwait when the war
began and would have fired more if our forces had not quickly
neutralized these weapons. U.S. forces also found tactical rockets
with warheads especially designed for CW delivery, though they were
not filled with chemical agent.

The biggest threat that we now face from Iraq's defunct WMD program is
from the scientists and technicians who developed these weapons. We
are very concerned that other rogue states or terrorist organizations
will hire and offer refuge to these WMD experts, and we are taking
steps to prevent this expertise from finding its way to other WMD
programs. Planning also is now also underway in the inter-agency for
an effort to redirect Iraqi scientists and other WMD personnel to
full-time civilian employment once the exploitation phase is over.
This effort will provide WMD personnel an alternative to emigration
and give the U.S. a means to keep tabs on their whereabouts in Iraq.

We are devoting substantial resources toward ensuring Iraq's full
disarmament. We have developed a comprehensive approach to
identifying, assessing and eliminating Iraq's WMD program and delivery
systems, and to ensuring productive, peaceful employment for Iraq's
scientists and technicians. This effort is based on three initial
activities: first, interviewing and obtaining cooperation from key
Iraqi personnel; second, accessing, assessing and exploiting a number
of sensitive sites; and third, obtaining and exploiting documents,
computer hard-drives, etc. As part of this effort, Coalition forces
have secured the facilities that house Iraq's natural and low-enriched
uranium. The United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) are finalizing plans to send a 7-person IAEA team to Iraq under
the protection and auspices of Coalition forces to conduct a Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) safeguards inspection of the storage
area near Tuwaitha. That site is under IAEA safeguards pursuant to
Iraq's safeguards agreement with the IAEA. We anticipate the arrival
of an IAEA team in Iraq on June 6.

A crucial part of our effort to locate Iraqi WMD is the Iraq Survey
Group (ISG). The ISG is a significant expansion of our hunt for Iraqi
WMD. It will be composed of some 1,400 people from the United States,
Australia, and the United Kingdom. Knowledgeable WMD experts will
search for banned weapons in Iraq and debrief Iraqi scientists. The
ISG has an analytic center in Qatar, but is headquartered in Baghdad.
It also is supported by the DIA Iraq Fusion Center at the Defense
Intelligence Agency's Headquarters.

The ISG is an unprecedented intelligence collection effort. Under
Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Steve Cambone has done a
masterful job creating it and I am confident that under his leadership
the ISG will enable us to find and eliminate Iraq's WMD programs. I am
proud to announce that Paula DeSutter, the Assistant Secretary of
State for Verification and Compliance, is working closely with Steve's
team and that her talented staff will help the ISG verify the
existence of Iraq's WMD program.

We are also trying to learn more about proliferation networks, both in
Iraq and abroad, in support of out broad nonproliferation objectives.
This will assist us in identifying front companies and individuals
that may be involved in these networks.

The hard lessons learned by Iraq must resonate with other
proliferating countries. Those countries should heed that thwarting
international obligations and standards -- by seeking weapons of mass
destruction -- is not in their national interests and will not be
tolerated by the international community. On Iran, we have seen for
some time indications of a clandestine program to develop nuclear
weapons. The United States and its allies expressed concern at the
Evian G-8 Summit about Iran's covert nuclear weapons program, stating
that "we will not ignore proliferation implications of Iran's advanced
nuclear program" and that "we offer our strongest support to
comprehensive IAEA examination of this country's nuclear program." The
world has put Iran on notice that it must stop pursuing nuclear

We now know that Iran is developing a uranium mine, a uranium
conversion facility, a massive uranium enrichment facility designed to
house tens of thousands of centrifuges, and a heavy water production
plant. This costly infrastructure would support the production of both
highly enriched uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons. While Iran
claims that its nuclear program is peaceful and transparent, we are
convinced it is otherwise.

One unmistakable indicator of military intent is the secrecy and lack
of transparency surrounding Iran's nuclear activities. Iran did not
disclose its uranium enrichment facility, or its heavy water
production facility to the IAEA until construction was so far along
that an opposition group made them public. Iran has a long history of
denying the IAEA full access to its nuclear program, and continues to
refuse to accept the IAEA strengthened safeguards Additional Protocol,
despite calls by IAEA Director General ElBaradei and many others to do
so. Iran's failure to accept the Additional Protocol, which would give
the IAEA increased access to investigate undeclared nuclear activities
and facilities, exposes Iran's claims of "transparency" as clearly

Another troublesome indicator of the true nature of the Iranian
nuclear program is that the cover stories put forward for the
development of a nuclear fuel cycle and for individual facilities are
simply not credible. For example, Iran is making an enormous
investment in facilities to mine, process, and enrich uranium, and
says it needs to make its own reactor fuel because it cannot count on
foreign supplies. But for the next decade Iran will have at most a
single power reactor, and Russia has committed itself to supply all
the fuel for the lifetime of that reactor. In addition, Iran does not
have enough indigenous uranium resources to fuel even one reactor over
its lifetime. So we are being asked to believe that Iran is building
uranium enrichment capacity to make fuel for reactors that do not
exist from uranium Iran does not have.

Iran would have us believe it is building a massive uranium enrichment
facility without having tested centrifuge machines, and building a
heavy water production plant with no evident use for the product. The
more credible explanation is that Iran is building the infrastructure
to produce highly enriched uranium in centrifuges and plutonium in a
heavy water moderated reactor.

Finally, there is Iran's claim that it is building massive and
expensive nuclear fuel cycle facilities to meet future electricity
needs, while preserving oil and gas for export. In fact, Iran's
uranium reserves are miniscule, accounting for less than one percent
of its vast oil reserves and even larger gas reserves. A glance at a
chart of the energy content of Iran's oil, gas, and uranium resources
shows that there is absolutely no possibility for Iran's indigenous
uranium to have any appreciable effect on Iran's ability to export oil
and gas. Iran's gas reserves are the second largest in the world, and
the industry estimates that Iran today flares enough gas to generate
electricity equivalent to the output of four Bushehr reactors, as
shown on the second chart.

The conclusion is inescapable that Iran is pursuing its "civil"
nuclear energy program not for peaceful and economic purposes but as a
front for developing the capability to produce nuclear materials for
nuclear weapons.

Iran is a party to the NPT, and has a full-scope safeguards agreement
with the IAEA. Following the revelation of Iran's construction of
nuclear facilities, IAEA Director General ElBaradei visited Iran this
year, found sophisticated uranium enrichment centrifuges, and raised
questions in his March report to the IAEA Board of Governors. IAEA
inspection teams have subsequently returned to Iran. We doubt Iran
would have built such a large enrichment plant and other nuclear
facilities without first conducting experiments that in turn would
raise questions about Iran's sincerity in meeting its safeguards
obligations to the IAEA. Iran's safeguards agreement with the IAEA
requires reporting of nuclear materials and experiments using nuclear
materials. If not reported to the IAEA, testing of centrifuges with
uranium, for example, or experiments involving Iran's research reactor
would conflict with Iran's safeguards obligations. We look forward to
Director General ElBaradei's report on what his teams have found in
Iran to the next meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors in June.

Despite all Iran has done, it is not too late to halt and reverse
Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. The United States is using all
diplomatic tools to this end. We have focused special attention on
Russia, the supplier of the Bushehr reactor. Following sustained
high-level exchanges, Russia shares our concern about Iran's nuclear
activities, joins us in supporting the IAEA's ongoing inspections, and
wants Director General ElBaradei to make a full and unbiased report to
the Board of Governors on what his inspectors in Iran have found. My
Russian colleague, Deputy Foreign Minister Mamedov, made these points
publicly on May 27.

In Vienna, we are providing support to the IAEA to facilitate a
rigorous examination of Iran's nuclear facilities by IAEA inspectors.
If the IAEA finds that Iran's nuclear activities are not in compliance
with its safeguards obligations, the case would be compelling that the
international community should oppose uranium enrichment and plutonium
reprocessing capabilities in Iran and halt all nuclear cooperation
with Iran.

The danger that Iran poses with its clandestine nuclear weapons
program is compounded by Iran's pursuit of an advanced and
self-sufficient chemical weapons infrastructure, its active quest for
biological warfare capabilities, and its long-range ballistic missile
program. Despite being a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention
(CWC), it is widely known that Iran has stockpiled blister, blood and
choking CW agents, and possesses the bombs and artillery shells to
deliver them. It continues to seek chemicals, production technology,
training, and expertise from Chinese entities that could further
Tehran's efforts at achieving an indigenous capability to produce
nerve agents, which Iran previously has manufactured. The United
States also believes that Iran probably has produced BW agents and
likely maintains an offensive BW program, in violation of the
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC), to which it is Party.
Foreign dual-use biotechnical materials, equipment, and expertise --
primarily, but not exclusively, from Russia -- continue to feature
prominently in Iran's procurement efforts. While such materials do
have legitimate uses, Iran's biological weapons program could also
benefit from them. It is likely that Iran has capabilities to produce
small quantities of biological weapons agents, but has a limited
ability to weaponize them. Furthermore, ballistic missile-related
cooperation from entities in the former Soviet Union, North Korea, and
China over the years has helped Iran move toward its goal of becoming
self-sufficient in the production of ballistic missiles. Such
assistance includes equipment, technology, and expertise. Iran,
already producing Scud short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs), is in
the late stages of developing the Shahab medium-range ballistic
missile (MRBM) and is pursuing longer-range missiles.

Vigorous implementation of our sanctions policy is a key part of our
Iran nonproliferation effort. We have sanctioned entities in China and
Moldova for assistance to the Iranian missile program, as well as
entities in Iran itself. We cannot let Iran, a leading sponsor of
international terrorism, acquire the most destructive weapons and the
means to deliver them to Europe, most of central Asia and the Middle
East -- or further.

North Korea's nuclear weapons ambitions also present a grave threat to
regional and global security and a major challenge to the
international nonproliferation regime. At the recent Evian G-8 Summit,
the United States and its allies approved this unequivocal language on
Pyongyang's covert nuclear weapons program:

-- North Korea's uranium enrichment and plutonium programs and its
failure to comply with its IAEA safeguards agreement undermine the
nonproliferation regime and are a clear breach of North Korea's
international obligations. We strongly urge North Korea to visibly,
verifiably, and irreversibly dismantle any nuclear weapons programs, a
fundamental step to facilitate a comprehensive and peaceful solution.

Not only are we dealing with a country that has repeatedly violated
its international nonproliferation obligations, but we also face the
prospect that North Korea could produce and then export fissile
material or weapons to rogue states or terrorists. This is a danger
that cannot be ignored.

By the mid-1990s, the U.S. intelligence community assessed that North
Korea had one, possibly two, nuclear weapons. Since Pyongyang
acknowledged in October 2002 that it was pursuing a covert uranium
enrichment program, it has rejected international calls for it to
reverse course and has taken escalatory actions in further violation
of its international nuclear nonproliferation commitments. To
summarize, North Korea in late December 2002 lifted its freeze at the
Yongbyon plutonium production facilities -- a freeze that had been
required under the 1994 Agreed Framework -- and expelled IAEA
inspectors. On January 10, 2003, North Korea announced that it was
withdrawing from the NPT. Despite a February 12, 2003 finding by the
IAEA Board of Governors that North Korea was in further non-compliance
with its safeguards obligations and a report of this finding to the
U.N. Security Council, North Korea restarted the 5 megawatt reactor at
Yongbyon. North Korea claims that the reactor is for electricity
generation, but we are confident that the reactor will also produce
plutonium for North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The electricity
the reactor generates is roughly equal to that needed for its
operation, belying the notion that it will generate electricity of any
useful proportion. The reactor's real utility to North Korea is that
it produces spent fuel, which contains plutonium that can be recovered
through reprocessing and used for nuclear weapons. North Korea asserts
that it has nearly completed reprocessing the 8,000 spent fuel rods
stored at Yongbyon.

We are concerned that North Korea may decide or has decided to begin
reprocessing. The North could produce enough additional plutonium for
as many as six nuclear weapons in several months. We have made clear
to North Korea that reprocessing would be a serious escalatory step in
the wrong direction. While all options remain on the table, the United
States has made clear repeatedly and at the highest levels that we
seek a peaceful, diplomatic end to North Korea's nuclear weapons
program. We insist on addressing the challenge multilaterally with all
countries concerned, including Japan and the Republic of Korea,
playing an integral role.

Trilateral talks between the United States, China, and North Korea
from April 23-25 in Beijing allowed all sides to make their views
known. North Korean officials made several troubling statements at the
talks. In addition to assertions about reprocessing, they also told us
unequivocally on the margins of the talks that they have nuclear
weapons. They further threatened to demonstrate this fact, or even
transfer nuclear weapons. While they said there is a way to move
forward and gave us a proposal, Secretary of State Powell has already
indicated that it is a proposal that is not going to take us in the
direction we need to go. The proposal simply restated North Korea's
previous demands. These sentiments were recently echoed by the Foreign
Minister of South Korea, who noted there was nothing new in the

North Korea's claims and threats will not intimidate the United
States. We are not going to pay for the elimination of North Korea's
nuclear weapons program -- a program the North should never have begun
in the first place. North Korea's statements are evidence that it
continues to try to intimidate -- even blackmail -- the international
community into giving into its demands. We reject these statements,
and particularly the intent behind them, in the strongest possible
terms. We continue to insist that North Korea must terminate its
nuclear weapons program completely, verifiably, and irreversibly. And
there will be no inducements to get them to do so. Giving into nuclear
blackmail will only encourage this behavior, not only in North Korea,
but also in nuclear aspirants around the world. North Korea must
understand that its efforts to pressure the United States and the
international community into meeting its demands will not bear fruit.
Indeed, resolution of the problem North Korea has created by its own
pursuit of nuclear weapons can only come through verified elimination
of its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea must end its indigenous missile program and missile
exports. North Korea possesses Scud and No-Dong missiles and is
developing the Taepo-Dong 2. North Korea is by far the most aggressive
proliferator of missiles and related technologies to countries of
concern. These sales are one of the North's major sources of hard
currency, which in turn allow continued missile development and
production. Additionally, the United States believes North Korea has a
dedicated, national-level effort to achieve a biological weapons
capability in violation of the BWC. North Korea also has a sizeable
stockpile of chemical agents and weapons, which it can employ with a
variety of means. North Korea is not a State Party to the CWC.

If North Korea verifiably and irreversibly terminates its nuclear
weapons program, the United States is willing to reconsider discussing
its "bold approach." Assistance would be provided to North Korea
through the "bold approach" if the North addresses concerns about its
WMD and missile program and exports as well as other issues, including
its conventional force disposition, narcotics trafficking, human
rights, and its continued sponsorship of terrorism outside its
borders. In the meantime, we urge North Korea to refrain from further
escalatory steps that will only bring more harm to its own national
interests and will further its isolation from the international
community. II. Beyond the Axis of Evil

We have long been concerned about Libya's longstanding efforts to
pursue nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and ballistic
missiles. Following the suspension of U.N. sanctions in 1999, Libya
resumed its efforts to enhance and expand its efforts to obtain WMD
and ballistic missile-related equipment, technology, and expertise
from foreign sources.

Allow me to briefly review the facts. Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi
has unambiguously asserted that Arab countries have the right to
pursue nuclear weapons. Among its WMD programs, Libya's chemical
warfare effort is the most advanced. Libya is not a State Party to the
CWC and continues to pursue an indigenous CW production capability. It
remains heavily dependent on foreign suppliers for precursor
chemicals, expertise and CW-related equipment. Following the
suspension of U.N. sanctions, Libya reestablished contacts with
foreign sources abroad, primarily in Western Europe. Libya has acceded
to the BWC, but continues a biological weapons program. It has not
advanced beyond the research and development stage, although it may be
capable of producing small quantities of biological agent. It needs
foreign assistance and technical expertise -- again, made more
possible with the suspension of U.N. sanctions -- to help use
available dual-use materials. Regarding missiles, outside assistance
is critical and Libya continues its efforts to obtain ballistic
missile equipment and technology. Libya's current capability probably
remains limited to Scud B SRBMs, but with continued foreign
assistance, it may achieve a MRBM capability or extended-range Scud

Libya must understand that improved relations with the United States
means forgoing its WMD and missile programs. We are urging the closest
possible scrutiny by potential suppliers and the strictest possible
enforcement of export controls to prevent sensitive transfers to

We seek also to disrupt Syria's WMD and missile-related procurement
efforts. As we have informed Congress, we are looking at Syria's
nuclear program with growing concern and continue to monitor it for
any signs of nuclear weapons intent. Although it has never used
chemical agents in a conflict, Syria has maintained a chemical weapons
program for many years. It has a stockpile of the nerve agent sarin
and is engaged in research and development of the more toxic and
persistent nerve agents. Damascus is currently dependent on foreign
sources for key elements of its chemical warfare program, including
precursor chemicals and key production equipment. Syria is not a State
Party to the CWC.

We know that Syria is pursuing the development of biological weapons.
Due to its limited biotechnical infrastructure, it is unlikely that
Syria has produced effective biological weapons agents or weapons at
this point. Syria has signed but not ratified the BWC.

On missiles, Syria has a combined total of several hundred Scud B,
Scud C and SS-21 SRBMs, and is believed to have chemical warheads
available for a portion of its Scud missile force. Damascus is
pursuing both solid- and liquid-propellant missile programs and relies
extensively on foreign assistance in these endeavors. North Korean
entities have been involved in aiding Syria's ballistic missile
development. All of Syria's missiles are mobile and can reach much of
Israel and large portions of Iraq, Jordan, and Turkey from launch
sites well within the country. Syria's development and acquisition of
more capable missiles, coupled with its interests in WMD, exacerbates
an already volatile situation in the Middle East.

Although Cuba has ratified the BWC, we believe it has at least a
limited, developmental offensive biological warfare
research-and-development effort. Cuba has provided dual-use
biotechnology to rogue states, which could support their BW programs.
Furthermore, the biotechnology industry is a top national priority and
is characterized by dual-use, sophisticated equipment, modern
facilities, generous funding, and highly trained personnel.

We are also working with Sudan to reconcile concerns we have voiced in
the past about their attempts to seek capabilities from abroad to
research chemical weapons production. Sudan acceded to the CWC in
1999, but is not a State Party to the BWC. Sudan does not have a
nuclear weapons program, but we are concerned that Sudan may seek a
ballistic missile capability in the future. III. A "Forward" Policy on

Our frontlines in our nonproliferation strategy need to extend beyond
the immediate states of concern to the trade routes and entities that
are engaged in supplying the countries of greatest proliferation
concern. In support of this "forward" policy of nonproliferation, we
are employing a number of tools to thwart and counter countries'
weapons of mass destruction and missile programs, including sanctions,
interdiction, and credible export controls. Most of these states are
still dependent on outside suppliers and expertise. Thus, we can slow
down and even stop their weapons development plans by employing a
policy that seeks to disrupt their procurement attempts.

Proliferating states and entities are employing increasingly
sophisticated and aggressive measures to obtain WMD or missile-related
equipment, materials, and technologies. They rely heavily on the use
of front companies and illicit arms brokers in their quest for arms,
equipment, sensitive technology and dual-use goods for their WMD
programs. These front companies and brokers are expert at concealing
the intended destination of an item and in making an illicit export
appear legitimate -- in essence hiding the export in the open.
Proliferators take other measures to circumvent national export
controls, such as falsifying documentation, providing false end-user
information, and finding the paths of least resistance for shipping an
illicit commodity. If there is a loophole in a law or a weak border
point, those responsible for rogue states' WMD programs will try to
exploit it. All too often they succeed.

Economic penalties or sanctions are an essential tool in a
comprehensive nonproliferation strategy. The imposition or even the
mere threat of sanctions can be a powerful lever for changing
behavior, as few countries wish to be labeled publicly as
irresponsible. Sanctions not only increase the costs to suppliers but
also encourage foreign governments to take steps to adopt more
responsible nonproliferation practices and ensure that entities within
their borders do not contribute to WMD programs.

This Administration imposed sanctions 34 times last year, and has
already imposed 12 sanctions this year, with a dozen more in progress
on which we will soon be consulting Congress. Compare that with the
average number of sanctions passed per year during the last
Administration -- 8 -- and you will see that this Administration is
very serious about using sanctions as a nonproliferation tool. We have
imposed measures under the Iran Nonproliferation Act, the Iran-Iraq
Act, the Chemical and Biological Weapons Sanctions Law, the Missile
Sanctions Law, and Executive Order 12938. Last month on May 9, the
United States imposed nonproliferation penalties pursuant to E.O.
12938 on the Chinese entity, North China Industries Corporation
(NORINCO), and the Iranian entity, Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group.
Penalties were imposed because the United States Government determined
that these entities contributed materially to the efforts of Iran to
use, acquire, design, develop, produce or stockpile missiles capable
of delivering weapons of mass destruction. The same day, the United
States also imposed sanctions on the Moldovan entity Cuanta S.A. and
its director, Mikhail Pavlovich Vladov, for missile-related
cooperation with Iran.

Our perspective on sanctions is clear and simple. Companies around the
world have a choice: trade in WMD materials with proliferators, or
trade with the United States, but not both. Where national controls
fail, and when companies make the wrong choice, there will be
consequences. U.S. law requires it and we are committed to enforcing
these laws to their fullest extent.

For example, the most recent report submitted to the Congress pursuant
to the Iran Nonproliferation Act illustrates our efforts to utilize
U.S. statutory authorities to the fullest extent to advance our
nonproliferation goals. For the first time, the State Department is
reviewing every known transfer to Iran -- not only of those items
controlled under U.S. export regimes, but also of those items that
have the potential to make a material contribution to WMD or missiles.

Interdiction efforts are also key to a comprehensive nonproliferation
strategy. Interdiction involves identifying an imminent shipment or
transfer, and working to impede and turn back the shipment. As the
President noted in his National Strategy to Combat WMD, we must
enhance the capabilities of our military, intelligence, technical, and
law enforcement communities to prevent the movement of WMD materials,
technology, and expertise to hostile states and terrorist

On May 31st in Krakow, the President announced the Proliferation
Security Initiative. We are in the early stages of discussing with
several close friends and allies the President's initiative to expand
interdiction efforts related to WMD- or missile-related shipments to
and from countries of proliferation concern. A robust interdiction
effort requires cooperation with like-minded countries -- those who
are leaders in nonproliferation as well as those who may have a direct
relationship with proliferation activities. Properly planned and
executed, interception of critical technologies while en route can
prevent hostile states and non-state actors from acquiring these
dangerous capabilities. At a minimum, interdiction can lengthen the
time that proliferators will need to acquire new weapons capabilities,
increase the cost, and demonstrate our resolve to combat

The So San episode in December of last year illustrates that
proliferators are vulnerable to having their shipments interdicted by
the U.S. and our allies. In the last two months, interception of
aluminum tubes likely bound for North Korea's nuclear weapons program
and a French and German combined effort to intercept sodium cyanide
likely bound for North Korea's chemical weapons program are examples
of recent interdiction successes. Although indirectly related to North
Korea's WMD program, the seizure of the Pong Su last month as it tried
to deliver heroin off the coast of Australia is another example of the
importance of interdiction efforts. Criminal efforts by the North
Koreans to obtain hard currency should be of no surprise. As we close
off proliferation networks, we inevitably will intercept related
criminal activity and overlapping smuggling rings. Targeting and
exploiting the vulnerabilities of proliferators and their criminal
networks will require coordinated efforts across the spectrum of
diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, and military interests.
Congressional support and commitment to resources for these efforts
will be essential.

As one step in an effort to plug the holes in national export
controls, we are encouraging and assisting countries around the world
to enact more stringent export control laws, put in place effective
licensing procedures and practices, and to back them up with effective
enforcement mechanisms. Each of these three parts must be effective in
order for an export control regime to be credible. For example, while
tightening export controls will benefit our nonproliferation efforts,
changes in law are meaningless without rigorous enforcement. We
frequently hear statements that countries are tightening their export
controls, but proof of that is in the marketplace, where sensitive
goods and technologies continue to be sold without being subject to
scrutiny, prosecution or penalty.

We continue efforts with like-minded states in the multilateral export
control regimes -- the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology
Control Regime, Australia Group, the Wassenaar Arrangement -- to
exchange information about attempts by rogue states to acquire
controlled technologies, and to assess whether additional items should
be added to control lists. These regimes have each undertaken efforts
to address the possibility that individuals or terrorist groups may
seek controlled commodities for small-scale but lethal WMD projects.
While the export control regimes are an important tool in stemming the
proliferation of sensitive technology and materials from advanced
nations across the globe, trade between countries of proliferation
concern is increasing and outside the control of these regimes. We
also are urging suppliers in each of the regimes to exercise maximum
vigilance toward efforts by proliferators to procure items that may
not be controlled by the multilateral export control regimes, but
nevertheless would assist countries in becoming self-sufficient in the
production of WMD and their means of delivery. For example, as part of
an effort to impede North Korea's procurement attempts, at the
December 2002 Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) Extraordinary Plenary
meeting, lists were distributed identifying items that, while not
NSG-controlled, would nonetheless be useful in the North's
reprocessing or enrichment programs. We are working with nuclear
supplier regimes to tighten controls over nuclear exports to Iran, and
to raise awareness of potential suppliers to Iran's aggressive
clandestine procurement efforts. Such information exchange is
important to our ability to thwart the acquisitive aims of rogue
states and terrorists. We must ensure that companies are not exporting
sensitive items to proliferators, to brokers acting on behalf of
proliferators, or to agents arranging exports through third countries.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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