Chinese Firms Export Dual-Use Commodities to Iran
(August 1, 2008)
Classified U.S. diplomatic cables, leaked by the whistleblower site WikiLeaks, contain accounts of U.S. officials urging China to prevent its firms from sending dual-use commodities to Iran for use in its nuclear programs.
S E C R E T STATE 083144
1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraph 3.
2. (S//NF) Washington is currently initiating a more focused strategy to prevent shipments of commodities of concern to Iran. We are approaching countries and asking them to inform their relevant industries of the United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs) against Iran, and encourage those industries to contact appropriate officials in their governments if they receive any inquiries of concern. We are providing information about certain Chinese companies that have provided commodities to Iranian entities involved in its nuclear program in an effort to encourage China to ensure such activities are not continued and to encourage China to adopt a similar proactive strategy of working with their companies to make them aware of potential Iranian procurement in support of its nuclear program. We would also expect that the provision of this information will lead to subsequent expert-level discussions of this issue with Chinese Government counterparts.
3. (S//NF) Iran has failed to suspend its uranium enrichment and heavy water-related activities as required by the United Nations Security Council. Iran makes frequent use of deceptive tactics in order to obtain items and technology to continue the development of its nuclear program. Furthermore, as described in IAEA Director General El Baradei,s report of 22 February 2008, Iran has admitted to evading international sanctions in order to procure sensitive nuclear-related technologies. DG El Baradei,s reports of 22 February and 26 May also describe Iran’s installation and testing of two new, advanced centrifuge designs. These new centrifuges are called the IR-2 and IR-3. Based on Iranian declarations to the IAEA and on photographs taken by the Iranian Government during a visit to Natanz by Iranian President Ahmadinejad, it is probable that these new designs use rotors made from carbon fiber. The other version of Iranian centrifuge (the IR-1) consists of high strength aluminum. We are approaching countries that develop the technologies and materials that Iran,s nuclear program will require (such as carbon fiber for the IR-2 and IR-3) and requesting that these countries take proactive steps to educate and inform their companies about potential Iranian procurement efforts.
4. (S//REL CHINA) We would like to reinforce China's own efforts in thwarting Iranian attempts to procure critical materials for its nuclear program from Chinese entities. Washington requests Post deliver the non-paper in paragraph 4 to appropriate host government officials. (Note - The non-paper was originally prepared for U/S John Rood's recent visit to China but was not delivered due to time constraints.) Post should pursue the following objectives:
-- Inform China that the U.S. is taking proactive steps domestically to thwart Iranian procurement attempts in support of its nuclear program.
-- Encourage China to take similar steps with their companies.
-- Emphasize that the USG is very concerned that Iran will continue to approach Chinese companies to procure materials in support of its nuclear program.
-- Inform China that we hope that by sharing this information we can establish an ongoing information exchange to help ensure that both our countries are taking all necessary steps to prevent Iranian procurement attempts in support of its nuclear program.
5. BEGIN NON-PAPER S//REL CHINA:
-- Iran makes frequent use of deception to obtain items and technology for its nuclear program. Furthermore, as described in IAEA Director General El Baradei,s report of 22 February 2008, Iran has admitted to evading international sanctions in order to procure sensitive nuclear-related technologies.
-- Additionally, based on the DG's reports in February and May 2008, we believe that Iran may need to procure large amounts of high-strength carbon fiber to support the deployment of additional IR-2 and IR-3 centrifuges. Carbon fiber is included on the NSG's dual-use annex and gas centrifuge watchlist circulated to NSG PGs.
-- The following are companies in China that have supplied aluminum 7075 to Iranian entities of concern:
-- Extra vigilance on the part of our governments will help thwart Iran,s efforts to evade export control regulations and flout UNSCRs to support a nuclear program of serious concern to the international community.
-- We believe it would be beneficial if, in the spirit of our collaborative dialogue, you notify us, the NSG and the IAEA, if any of your companies receive inquiries from Iranian entities. Sharing this information will allow the international community to better track and stop Iran,s illicit procurement. -- We would like to ensure that this effort is ongoing and we propose a face-to-face meeting with the appropriate experts to further discuss this matter. -- We greatly appreciate your cooperation on this and other nonproliferation efforts and look forward to hearing the results of your work.
6. 6. (U) Post should report results within seven (7) business
8. (U) Department thanks Post for its assistance.
Source: Jerusalem Post