News

 

DATE=12/23/97

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-224473

TITLE=IRAN NUKE PROGRAM (L)

BYLINE=JIM RANDLE

DATELINE=PENTAGON

CONTENT=

VOICED AT: 



INTRO:  IRAN'S PROGRAMS TO DEVELOP NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND THE 

MISSILES TO DELIVER THEM ARE A -- CONTINUING CONCERN -- AT THE 

HIGHEST LEVELS IN WASHINGTON.  PENTAGON OFFICIALS SAY THE U-S 

GOVERNMENT HAS TRIED HARD, BUT HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO STEM THE FLOW

OF NUCLEAR INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY TO IRAN.  V-O-A'S JIM 

RANDLE REPORTS.



TEXT:  A PUBLISHED REPORT SAYS IRAN IS ONLY TWO YEARS AWAY FROM 

DEVELOPING A USABLE NUCLEAR WEAPON -- CLOSER THAN PREVIOUSLY 

THOUGHT IN THE WEST.  THE REPORT IN "THE LONDON SUNDAY TIMES" IS 

ATTRIBUTED TO ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE SOURCES. 



PENTAGON SPOKESMAN KEN BACON WOULD NOT COMMENT ON INTELLIGENCE 

MATTERS, BUT SAYS THE UNITED STATES IS WORKING HARD TO STOP THE 

SPREAD OF NUCLEAR AND OTHER WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, WITH A 

SPECIAL EFFORT FOCUSED ON IRAN.



                    /// BACON  ACT  181  ///



         THESE PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN THE CONCERN OF THIS GOVERNMENT 

         AT THE ABSOLUTELY HIGHEST LEVELS.  PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS

         DISCUSSED THEM WITH PRESIDENT YELTSIN, VICE PRESIDENT 

         GORE HAS DISCUSSED THEM WITH PRIME MINISTER 

         CHERNOMYRDIN.  AND THERE IS STATE DEPARTMENT AMBASSADOR 

         FRANK WISNER WHO HAS BEEN VISITING RUSSIA ON A 

         SEMI-REGULAR BASIS TO DISCUSS THE MISSILE PROGRAM.  AND 

         PRESIDENT CLINTON AND PRESIDENT JIANG ZEMIN REACHED AN 

         AGREEMENT DEALING WITH THE CHINESE SUPPLY OF MATERIALS 

         TO THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM.  



                        /// END ACT  ///



A RECENT PENTAGON REPORT SAYS SUPPLIES OF WEAPONS MATERIAL, 

INFORMATION, AND EXPERTISE FROM CHINA AND RUSSIA ARE KEY TO THE 

SUCCESS OF THE IRANIAN PROGRAMS.  



KEN BACON SAYS WASHINGTON ALERTED OTHER COUNTRIES TO THE PROBLEM 

AND PERSUADED MANY OF THEM TO CUT WEAPONS-RELATED EXPORTS TO 

IRAN.



                      /// BACON ACT 227 ///



         I THINK WE FEEL WE ARE GETTING A GOOD RESPONSE FROM THE 

         COUNTRIES WITH WHICH WE ARE DEALING ON THIS TOPIC.  DOES

         THAT MEAN THAT WE HAVE  BEEN ABLE TO SHUT OFF FLOWS OF 

         TECHNOLOGY?  NO.  NOT YET.  THAT IS A DIFFICULT THING TO

         DO, BUT WE ARE WORKING ON IT.



                       /// END ACT ///   



MR. BACON SAYS ONE PROBLEM IS SUSPECTED "FREELANCE" SALES OR 

SHIPMENTS TAKING PLACE BY FORMER GOVERNMENT ENTITIES OR BY 

INDIVIDUALS IN THE GOVERNMENT.  HE SAYS THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT 

HAS PROMISED TO TRY TO STOP SUCH ACTIVITIES IF THEY ARE TAKING 

PLACE.  (SIGNED)



NEB/JR/GKT/RAE



23-Dec-97 3:41 PM EST (2041 UTC)

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Source: Voice of America

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