SENATE RESOLUTION 82--EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE SENATE TO URGE THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION RELATIVE TO C-802 CRUISE MISSILES (Senate - May 05, 1997)

[Page: S3968]

Mr. BENNETT (for himself, Mr. D'Amato, Mr. Helms, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Ashcroft, Mrs. Hutchison, and Mr. Brownback) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations:

S. Res. 82

Whereas the United States escort vessel U.S.S. Stark was struck by a cruise missile , causing the death of 37 United States sailors;

Whereas the China National Precision Machinery Import Export Corporation is marketing the C-802 model cruise missile for use against escort vessels such as the U.S.S. Stark;

Whereas the China National Precision Machinery Import Export Corporation has delivered 60 C-802 cruise missiles to Iran for use by vessels of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy;

Whereas Iran is acquiring land batteries to launch C-802 cruise missile which will provide its armed forces with a weapon of greater range, reliability, accuracy, and mobility than before;

Whereas 15,000 members of the United States Armed Forces are stationed within range of the C-802 cruise missile being acquired by Iran;

Whereas the Department of State believes that `[t]hese cruise missiles pose new, direct threats to deployed United States forces';

Whereas the delivery of cruise missiles to Iran is a violation of the Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act of 1992 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note); and

Whereas the Clinton Administration `has concluded at present that the known types [of C-802 cruise missiles ] are not of a destabilizing number and type': Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate urges the Clinton Administration to enforce the Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act of 1992 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note) with respect to the acquisition by Iran of C-802 model cruise missiles or to carry out an alternative policy that would address such acquisition in a manner similar to that provided for in that Act.

Mr. BENNETT. Mr. President, I am submitting today a resolution to address a matter that I consider vital to our national security. I have here a picture of the U.S.S. Stark that was disabled 10 years ago by an Exocet missile fired by the Iranians [sic; the missile was fired by Iraq]. Thirty-seven American sailors were killed in this disaster.

I call your attention to a new missile patterned after the Exocet, only it is described by its sales brochures as having a `mighty attack capability with great firepower.' This is the C-802, an antishipping cruise missile . The sales group that is touting the mighty power of the C-802 is the Chinese. The Chinese have taken the Exocet and increased its power and increased its deadliness.

The C-802 is being shipped. This picture shows a Chinese vessel, on the deck of which there are five smaller vessels, each one of which is equipped with four C-802's. You can see them on the back of the ships. These are the smaller ships on the back deck of this larger cargo vessel.

Those ships are en route to Iran. The Chinese have now sold to Iran some 60 C-802's for their use in the Persian Gulf. Some 60 are mounted on 15 patrol boats. These patrol boats, again, have four missiles each.

If one missile could damage the Stark as badly as we saw in the first picture, you see what 15 missiles could do. But the Chinese are not stopping with shipboard missiles . Here is an example of a land-based C-802, and the Chinese are now in the process of selling these to the Iranians.

Why should we be concerned about the land-based C-802? Here is a map of the Persian Gulf. This land mass is Iran. There are 500 miles of Iranian coastal waters facing the Persian Gulf. This is the Strait of Hormuz through which a very large percentage of the world's oil must go every day, something in excess of 25 percent. The Iranians have repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if the rest of the world does not do what Iran wishes it to do in a variety of ways. We heard such a threat, again, over the weekend with the Iranians saying that if the Americans were to try to take any kind of retaliatory action against Iranian terrorism, they would close this Strait of Hormuz.

With land-based C-802's, they could hide them in caves or put them in other locations all along this 500-mile area, so that any shipping coming out of Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, or Saudi Arabia into the Persian Gulf would be vulnerable to an attack from a land-based C-802. With 15 patrol boats, each one having 4 missiles , or 60 sea-based missiles , the Iranians could actually attack from either side, having the patrol boats out here on one side of the shipping lanes, with the land-based missiles on the other, and effectively seal off the world's supply of oil from the Middle East without too much difficulty.

In personal human terms, there are about 15,000 U.S. servicemen and servicewomen within the range of the C-802 missiles in the gulf.

Mr. President, there is a law known as the Gore-McCain Act passed in 1992 which says that foreign companies that deliver cruise missiles to Iran are subject to sanctions. I raised this issue with Secretary Albright, and I have raised it since in subsequent hearings. In January, Secretary Albright informed me that the administration will not enforce the terms of the Gore-McCain Act on the grounds that the missiles are not `destabilizing.'

I am not quite sure what the word `destabilizing' means in this kind of a circumstance, but that is where the administration has chosen to come down.

I believe that a nondestabilizing missile can be just as deadly to a ship as a destabilizing missile . Once a missile is fired, it knows no semantic definition, as it goes on its course for a kill. Ask the sailors on the Stark whether the presence of the Exocet missiles were destabilizing in the circumstance in the Middle East or not. Thirty-seven of them are dead.

Given our obligation to those that we would place in harm's way in the name of this country, I believe the time has come to put this issue on the front burner. I have asked the administration about it. I have used the congressional oversight circumstance to bring it to their attention. Now, Mr. President, today, I submit a resolution outlining the sense of the Senate that the administration either enforce the Gore-McCain Act in this circumstance or take some other appropriate action.

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the letter which I sent to Madeleine Albright on the 17th of April and a fact sheet relating to the C-802 missile be printed in the Record.

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:

C-802 FACT SHEET

U.S.S. Stark: American Navy escort vessel struck by two Exocet type cruise missiles in May 1987 killing 37 sailors and disabling the ship for sixteen months.

C-802: Chinese cruise missile similar to the Exocet and marketed for use against naval escort vessels. According to its manufacturer, the China National Precision Instrument Import-Export Corporation, the C-802 is characterized by `mighty attack capability, great firepower.' It has a range of 120 km [75 miles] and a high explosive warhead of 165 kg [363 lbs.].

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy: Iran is believed to possess sixty C-802 missiles aboard 15 Chinese and French missile boats.

Land-based Variant: Iran is believed to be acquiring an undetermined number of C-802 missiles which will be mounted on Transporter-Erector-Launchers [TELs]. For over a year Iran has been constructing tunnels and other fortifications along its Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman coastlines which could accommodate these TELs.

Threat to U.S. forces: 15,000 U.S. servicemen and women are potentially within range of these missiles . On April 11, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robert Einhorn told the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, `These cruise missiles pose new and direct threats to deployed U.S. Forces.' During 1996 Admiral Scott Redd, Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Fifth Fleet declared the missiles to be a `360 degree threat which can come at you from basically anywhere at sea in the gulf or out in the Gulf of Oman.'

U.S. Law: The Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act of 1992 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note) prohibits foreign persons from delivering advanced conventional weapons, including cruise missiles , to Iran.

Administration Position: The Administration `has concluded at present that the known types [of C-802 missiles ] are not of a destabilizing number and type.'

[Sources: New York Times, various Jane's publications]