ACCESSION NUMBER:246787 FILE ID:TXT501 DATE:10/09/92 TITLE:U.S. OPPOSES ARMS SALES TO IRAN (10/09/92) TEXT:*92100901.TXT U.S. OPPOSES ARMS SALES TO IRAN (VOA Editorial) (490) (Following is an editorial, broadcast by the Voice of America October 9, reflecting the views of the U.S. government.) With the end of the Cold War, the threat to world peace has diminished. Unfortunately, there are still potentially aggressive regimes in several countries. Some of the most dangerous are those identified by the United States as state sponsors of international terrorism, including Iran. Under U.S. law, American companies are prohibited from selling many items to state sponsors of terrorism. Among other things, these countries may not acquire U.S.-made weapons or other items that could be used in the development of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons or ballistic missiles. The United States also urges other countries not to sell such items to state sponsors of terrorism. Unfortunately, some countries continue to sell weapons and sensitive technology to Iran. Recently, Russian officials confirmed the sale of submarines to Iran. The United States considers the sale of submarines to be destabilizing to the volatile Persian Gulf region. U.S. officials also spoke out last month when the Chinese government announced plans to help Iran build a nuclear power plant. It has been the U.S. view for some time that any nuclear cooperation with Iran, even for peaceful purposes, is highly imprudent and should be avoided. The Iranian regime's conduct in recent years has raised serious questions about whether it can be trusted to live up to its commitments under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. This conduct includes statements by high-ranking Iranian officials in support of acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. As Robert Gates, director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, told members of Congress earlier this year, Iran has been engaged in a significant military buildup. This buildup has included the purchase of advanced warplanes and anti-aircraft missiles from Russia and China, and the purchase of extended-range Scud missiles from North Korea. The United States and other countries are particularly concerned about the Iranian regime's arms buildup because of Iran's aggressive behavior in recent years, as well as its continuing support of terrorism. One of the most ruthless terrorist groups supported by Iran is Hizbollah. Based in the Syrian-occupied Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, Hizbollah has engaged in numerous acts of terrorism against Americans and citizens of many other countries, both in the Middle East and in other parts of the world. Hizbollah is the leading suspect in the terrorist bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires earlier this year. The bombing claimed the lives of more than two dozen people. It is clearly not in the interests of world peace to be selling weapons or 1he means to produce them to such state sponsors of terrorism as Iran. The United States will continue its efforts to persuade all countries to refrain from cooperating in Iran's military buildup. NNNN .