News

 

DATE=  11/1/97

TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT

NUMBER=5-37959

TITLE=U-S / CHINA / IRAN

BYLINE=AMIN FEKRAT

DATELINE=WASHINGTON

CONTENT=

NOT VOICED: // CORRECTS INTRO OF BKG 5-37957 //  



INTRO:  ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AGREEMENTS TO COME OUT OF THIS 

WEEK'S SUMMIT BETWEEN CHINESE PRESIDENT JIANG ZEMIN AND U-S 

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON CENTERED AROUND IRAN.  PRESIDENT CLINTON 

SAID HE WOULD LIFT A BAN ON U-S NUCLEAR POWER TECHNOLOGY SALES TO

CHINA IN RETURN FOR CHINA'S ASSURANCES THAT IT WOULD STOP ITS 

NUCLEAR COOPERATION WITH IRAN. AMIN FEKRAT OF VOA'S FARSI SERVICE

SPOKE WITH A U-S EXPERT ABOUT THE STATUS OF IRAN'S NUCLEAR 

PROGRAM AND THE ROLE CHINA HAS PLAYED IN ITS DEVELOPMENT. 







TEXT:  ANTHONY CORDESMAN IS A SENIOR FELLOW AT THE CENTER FOR 

STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES IN WASHINGTON. WHILE THE 

UNITED STATES HAS EXPRESSED MUCH CONCERN ABOUT CHINA'S ROLE IN 

HELPING IRAN DEVELOP NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY, MR. CORDESMAN SAYS THE 

LEVEL OF NUCLEAR COOPERATION BETWEEN CHINA AND IRAN HAS NOT BEEN 

VERY EXTENSIVE. 



                   ///  IST CORDESMAN ACT  ///







            THAT COOPERATION IS VERY MINOR AND IT INVOLVES 

            RESEARCH REACTORS AND THEY ARE RELATIVELY LIMITED 

            PROCESSING PROJECTS. SO THESE ARE NOT REALLY A MAJOR 

            ISSUE.  RESEARCH REACTORS ARE INCAPABLE OF PRODUCING 

            ENRICHED MATERIAL SO THIS IS NOT A THREAT TO 

            PROLIFERATION.



                         /// END ACT //







ADDRESSING THE ISSUE OF VERIFICATION OF CHINESE COMPLIANCE WITH 

THE AGREEMENT REACHED THIS WEEK, MR. CORDESMAN SAYS COMPLIANCE IS

EASY TO MONITOR AND VERIFY. 







                    /// 2ND CORDESMAN ACT ///







         I THINK THERE ARE SEVERAL FACTORS INVOLVED.  FIRST, THE 

         U-S TRANSFER OF REACTOR TECHNOLOGY IS NOT SOMETHING THAT

         HAPPENS OVERNIGHT. IT TAKES YEARS TO BE EFFECTIVE. SO 

         THIS IS NOT AN AGREEMENT FOR TODAY OR TOMORROW, BUT AN 

         AGREEMENT WHICH GOES BEYOND THE YEAR 2000.



                          // END ACT //





MR. CORDESMAN ALSO SAYS THAT, FOR CHINA, TRADE WITH THE UNITED 

STATES, ESPECIALLY TRADE THAT BRINGS NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY INTO THE 

COUNTRY, IS FAR MORE VALUABLE THAN TRADE WITH IRAN.  IN LIGHT OF 

THIS, HE SAYS, IT IS UNLIKELY THAT CHINA WOULD RISK JEOPARDIZING 

ITS COMMERCIAL RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES BY GIVING 

TECHNOLOGY TO IRAN.







                     /// CORDESMAN ACT 3 ///







         IF CHINESE TECHNOLOGY OPENLY APPEARED IN IRAN, THE 

         CURRENT AGREEMENT WOULD HAVE BEEN BROKEN. THIS IS AN 

         AGREEMENT WHICH FOCUSES ON CHINA'S CRITICAL NEEDS WHICH 

         IS ENERGY, AND IN COMPARATIVE TERMS, IT IS FAR MORE 

         IMPORTANT TO CHINA TO BRING REACTOR TECHNOLOGY 

         EFFICIENTLY AT A LOW COST THAN IT IS TO TRADE WITH IRAN,

         WHICH REPRESENTS A RELATIVELY MINOR TRADING STAKE.







                          // END ACT //







MR. CORDESMAN SAYS THAT IRAN, AS A RESULT OF THE AGREEMENT 

BETWEEN CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES, WILL PROBABLY TURN TO RUSSIA

FOR THE NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY IT SEEKS.  ALSO, HE SAYS IRAN HAS A 

CORE GROUP OF SCIENTISTS WHO ARE FAMILIAR WITH REACTOR 

TECHNOLOGY. 







                     /// CORDESMAN ACT 4 ///







         THIS (THE SINO / U-S AGREEMENT) DOES NOT AFFECT THE 

         AGREEMENT BETWEEN IRAN AND RUSSIA. SO RUSSIA WOULD 

         PRESUMABLY PROCEED WITH REACTOR CONTRACT. FURTHER, IRAN 

         IS A RELATIVELY DEVELOPED COUNTRY AND IT HAS A NUMBER OF

         EXCELLENT PHYSICISTS. WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT 

         TECHNOLOGIES THAT ARE EXPERIMENTAL OR WERE UNCERTAIN 10 

         YEARS AGO.







                          // END ACT //







BUT EVEN IF IRAN IS ABLE TO BUILD NUCLEAR REACTORS, MR. CORDESMAN

SAYS MANY IRANIANS WILL QUESTION WHETHER THESE REACTORS ARE 

NECESSARY, SINCE THE COUNTRY HAS ABUNDANT AMOUNTS OF ENERGY 

RESOURCES. (SIGNED)







NEB/AF/KL



01-Nov-97 11:39 AM EST (1639 UTC)

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Source: Voice of America

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