Login/Logout

*
*  

"[Arms Control Today] has become indispensable! I think it is the combination of the critical period we are in and the quality of the product. I found myself reading the May issue from cover to cover."

– Frank von Hippel
Co-Director of Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University
April 2008
Edition Date: 
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Cover Image: 

Books of Note

The Nuclear Jihadist: The True Story of the Man Who Sold the World's Most Dangerous Secrets...And How We Could Have Stopped Him. By Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins, Twelve Books, 2007, 413 pp.

Incapacitating Biochemical Weapons: Promise of Peril? Edited by Alan M. Pearson, Marie Isabelle Chevrier, and Mark Wheelis, Lexington Books, 2007, 306 pp.

Reluctant Restraint: The Evolution of China's Nonproliferation Policies and Practices, 1980-2004. By Evan S. Medeiros, Stanford University Press, 2007, 357 pp.

The Nuclear Jihadist: The True Story of the Man Who Sold the World’s Most Dangerous Secrets…And How We Could Have Stopped Him
By Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins, Twelve Books, 2007, 413 pp.

Frantz and Collins explore the investigations into Pakistani nuclear official Abdul Qadeer Khan, who operated the most extensive nuclear trafficking network in history. The authors highlight how U.S. intelligence agencies gathered evidence on Khan’s nuclear-smuggling network for nearly three decades but were reluctant to act due to the need for assistance from Islamabad on other concerns. They also touch on the murky question of whether the Pakistani government was complicit in Khan’s proliferation activities with other countries, and explore what Islamabad’s military and civilian leadership did or did not know about Khan’s illicit activities. After describing efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency and other governmental security agencies to unravel Khan’s network, the authors examine methods the international community can adopt to curb future nuclear proliferation.


Incapacitating Biochemical Weapons: Promise or Peril?
Edited by Alan M. Pearson, Marie Isabelle Chevrier, and Mark Wheelis, Lexington Books, 2007, 306 pp.

This book examines a variety of issues surrounding the development and use of incapacitating biochemical weapons. Proponents of biochemical incapacitants see them as a humane and effective military option in certain situations because they are not supposed to result in death or permanent injury. However, the editors contend that the Biological Weapons and Chemical Weapons Conventions effectively outlaw the development, production, and use of such weapons. The contributing authors go on to explore a wide range of topics, from the role of the pharmaceutical industry in research and development, to the historical context for considering incapacitating biochemical weapons, to the perceived military uses for such weapons. They argue that governments, international organizations, and society as a whole must soon address the issues surrounding incapacitating biochemical weapons.


Reluctant Restraint: The Evolution of China’s Nonproliferation Policies and Practices, 1980-2004
By Evan S. Medeiros, Stanford University Press, 2007, 357 pp.

Evan S. Medeiros, a senior political scientist at RAND, probes the reasons Chinese policy changed from being openly opposed to global nonproliferation norms in 1980 to being at least nominally supportive of them in 2004. Medeiros contends that China’s nonproliferation policies have had four major inputs: U.S. policy intervention, China’s acceptance of nonproliferation norms, its foreign policy priorities, and its institutional capacity to implement its various commitments. By reviewing numerous U.S. policy efforts and the effects they’ve had on Chinese policy, he finds that U.S. interventions have been the chief causal influence on Chinese nonproliferation policy over the past 25 years. The author finds that a combination of incentives and frequent negotiations had the biggest effect on nuclear nonproliferation. A wider variety of tools, ranging from demarches and sanctions to incentives and presidential summits, were effective at changing Chinese missile nonproliferation policy. Ultimately, his exploration of the China case seems to point to a broader conclusion: steady U.S. diplomacy can have significant effects on the nonproliferation policies of other countries.


Are you interested in purchasing these books? You can help support the Arms Control Association by visiting one of our partners.

 

or

 

Alleged Top Arms Dealer Arrested

Jeff Abramson

In early March, Thai authorities working in close cooperation with the United States apprehended Victor Bout, arguably the world’s best known suspected international dealer of conventional arms. The United States plans to extradite and prosecute Bout for conspiring to aid a terrorist organization. 

U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia announced March 6 that Thai police had captured Bout the previous evening. Garcia also released charges that Bout had traveled to Thailand in order to sell weapons to U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents posing as representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The supposed multimillion-dollar weapons deal included surface-to-air missile systems and armor-piercing rocket launchers.

Garcia said that the United States will seek to extradite Bout on charges of conspiracy to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. Those charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. The Department of State designated the FARC a terrorist organization in October 1997.

In the years since the Soviet Union’s collapse, Bout is suspected of using his Soviet military background to develop a sophisticated transport system that supplied arms to governments and rebels in Africa, pro- and anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan, and South American guerrilla groups, as well as U.S. forces and allies in Iraq. Bout’s capture drew significant media attention. He was the subject of the popular book Merchant of Death (2007) and is likely the protoytpe for the arms dealer played by Nicholas Cage in the 2005 movie “Lord of War.”

Due to fears of what Bout might reveal about his past dealings with Washington, there was some speculation that the United States might not follow up on extradition plans. Countering these rumors, a State Department official confirmed to Arms Control Today March 21 that a warrant for Bout’s provisional arrest has been lodged and that the United States is preparing a formal extradition request.

The Associated Press March 8 reported that Stephen Rapp, chief prosecutor for a UN-backed war crimes tribunal for Sierra Leone, was interested in putting Bout on trial. Other sources speculated that Russia might seek Bout’s return or alternatively that it had quietly given up Bout as a sign of goodwill. In addition, Belgium issued a warrant for Bout in 2002 for money laundering, but that warrant expired in 2006 and the country is not seeking his extradition, according to a Belgian embassy official who spoke with Arms Control Today on March 27. Despite the possible international permutations, the State Department official said in an e-mail that “[w]e know of no requests by other countries to Thailand for the extradition or surrender of Bout.”

The use of counterterrorism laws against arms dealers is an emerging law enforcement method. Bout’s associate, Andrew Smulian, was also indicted in this case and appeared in a New York court March 10. In June 2007, the same U.S. district court announced the capture of Monzer al Kassar in Spain for conspiring to supply the FARC.

Shortly after Bout was taken into custody, Thai police transferred him to a maximum-security prison. Thai investigators are working to determine whether they will prosecute a case. According to Thai law, he can be held for up to 84 days without being charged, but a court must reapprove such detention every 12 days.

Thai courts denied initial requests for bail and on March 19 remanded Bout for another 12 days to a maximum-security prison. Bout maintains his innocence. When Bout might be extradited depends on the outcome of the Thai investigation and possible trial. Experts believe that if he were granted bail, he could easily flee back to Russia where he has enjoyed relative freedom most of this decade.

Until now, attempts to capture or contain Bout have been thwarted. In 2001 the United Nations listed Bout on an international travel ban. After Bout appeared on a Moscow radio broadcast in 2002, Belgium asked Russia for judicial assistance in apprehending Bout but Russian authorities did not respond to the request. In 2004 and 2005, the U.S. Department of the Treasury froze Bout’s assets as well as those of certain companies and people associated with him. In 2007 the United States expanded those measures, and the UN placed many of the same people and companies on its sanctions list.

Given Bout’s ability to slip through international controls, until he is officially sentenced, it is difficult to know if Garcia’s March 6 claim is true that this “marks the end of the reign of one of the world’s most wanted arms traffickers.”

 

Brazil, Argentina Pursue Nuclear Cooperation

Jessica Lasky-Fink

In February, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva and Argentine President Cristina Fernandez released a joint communiqué establishing a binational commission to explore further areas of nuclear cooperation between the two nations.

According to the Feb. 22 communiqué, the commission will work on developing a joint nuclear reactor to meet the electrical needs of both nations, designing a bilateral project to explore aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, and establishing a binational company for uranium enrichment. The commission will also organize a seminar of Argentine and Brazilian researchers tasked with assessing strategies for future nuclear cooperation and identifying the necessary human resources and technology needed for bilateral cooperation.

The commission met for the first time in the beginning of March at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna. The communiqué stipulates that the commission has until Aug. 30 to prepare a report outlining the actions that should be taken to promote further bilateral cooperation.

The joint communiqué is the latest development in nuclear cooperation between Argentina and Brazil. In the 1980s, each nation agreed to stand down from the weapons-related programs that they were then pursuing as regional rivals. In 1991 they signed a bilateral agreement committing to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes only. Thereafter, they established the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABACC), which is responsible for verifying compliance with the bilateral agreement.

Also in 1991, Argentina, Brazil, the ABACC, and the IAEA signed the Quadripartite Agreement, specifying procedures for IAEA and ABACC monitoring and verification of Argentine and Brazilian nuclear installations.

Brazil has an operational enrichment facility at Resende, about 100 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro. Argentina had a small-scale facility at Pilcaniyeu, and there has been speculation that Buenos Aires might restart an enrichment program in an attempt to keep pace with Brazil. Although the Resende facility is subject to IAEA and ABACC safeguards, past negotiations with the IAEA regarding verification procedures have been tense. (See ACT, October 2005. )

Moreover, neither Argentina nor Brazil has signed an additional protocol to its IAEA safeguards agreement. Such protocols grant the IAEA expanded rights of access to information and undeclared nuclear sites.

Some outside experts have raised questions about Brazil’s nuclear ambitions and are particularly worried about the country’s aspirations for a nuclear-powered submarine. Most countries rely on nuclear submarines powered by highly enriched uranium, which can also be used in a nuclear weapons program. Although Brazil has said that its submarines will be fueled by low-enriched uranium, concerns remain about the potential for enrichment facilities to be used for a weapons program.

In a recent article published by the Brazilian Ministry of Defense, Nelson Jobim, the country’s defense minister, highlighted plans for the modernization of navy facilities needed for the construction, repair, and maintenance of a nuclear submarine. One of the top Brazilian generals, Jose Benedito de Barros Moreira, reiterated in a Feb. 8 interview on the specialized defense website [email protected] that Brazil’s number one military priority is the development of a nuclear submarine. According to Moreira, Brazil will complete construction of its nuclear submarine in eight to 10 years. Others are more reluctant to specify a timeline for submarine development, citing serious budgetary constraints that must be addressed before the Brazilian dream of a nuclear-powered submarine can become a reality.

Nuke Commander Unhappy With Status Quo

The top U.S. military commander in charge of deployed nuclear forces is speaking out against the current state of the nuclear weapons enterprise and advocating for new warheads and the infrastructure and people to produce them. Meanwhile, Congress recently appointed a group of 12 experts to evaluate the appropriate roles for nuclear weapons in future U.S. security policy. (Continue)

Wade Boese

The top U.S. military commander in charge of deployed nuclear forces is speaking out against the current state of the nuclear weapons enterprise and advocating for new warheads and the infrastructure and people to produce them. Meanwhile, Congress recently appointed a group of 12 experts to evaluate the appropriate roles for nuclear weapons in future U.S. security policy.

General Kevin Chilton, the head of Strategic Command, is striking a discordant note against a growing chorus supporting the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons, ranging from former Republican Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.). Chilton Feb. 27 testified to lawmakers that nuclear weapons would be “important for the remainder of this century” and expressed discomfort with the notion of reducing U.S. deployed nuclear forces to levels below the planned 2012 treaty limit of 1,700-2,200 strategic warheads. Russia is imploring the United States to negotiate lower limits, but so far the Bush administration has refused.

To be sure, Chilton said at a Feb. 21 speech at an Air Force Association symposium that “I share the vision of any parent of a day…where there are no nuclear weapons in the world.” But he added, “[F]rankly, I don’t see us achieving that vision in this century.”

Chilton, who assumed command of U.S. strategic forces last October, contends deeper reductions under current circumstances would be risky given his assessment that the United States lacks a sufficient warhead manufacturing base to build more weapons if a new threat emerges or something goes wrong with existing U.S. arms. Indeed, he argued Feb. 21 that existing warheads “are not maintainable” because of the way they were designed to pack the maximum number of warheads on top of a single missile in order to boost explosive power. Still, the U.S. government has annually certified existing warheads as safe and reliable and continues to invest billions in extending their lives without nuclear testing, which the United States ceased in 1992.

Chilton is calling for a sweeping effort to “modernize” the U.S. nuclear stockpile, numbering approximately 5,000 warheads, and reinvigorate the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, including what he described as its “graying workforce.” He argued, “[W]e cannot tolerate that if we are going to provide a nuclear deterrent for the future generations of this country.”

Chilton’s predecessor, General James Cartwright, who is now vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed similar concerns, but Chilton appears to have placed a greater emphasis on them. For instance, Cartwright in 2007 devoted a few paragraphs of his address to the Air Force Association on modernizing U.S. nuclear warheads and production capabilities, while Chilton made it a centerpiece of his 2008 speech. Similarly, Chilton’s prepared testimony to lawmakers devotes much more attention to nuclear weapons than that delivered by Cartwright.

During the Feb. 27 hearing before the strategic forces panel of the House Armed Services Committee, Chilton delivered a more critical assessment of the U.S. weapons production capability than Thomas D’Agostino, the head of the Department of Energy’s semi-autonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which manages the nuclear weapons complex. D’Agostino noted the United States can annually produce approximately 10 plutonium pits, the trigger component of warheads. But Chilton stated, “I would argue with Mr. D’Agostino that being able to produce 8 to 10 [pits] a year is a production capability.” NNSA is seeking to increase its output to 30 to 50 pits annually as early as 2012.

Chilton’s message aligns with the Bush administration’s goals to recapitalize the U.S. nuclear weapons complex and revive an initiative, the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) program, to explore new warhead designs that supposedly will be easier to build and maintain and less susceptible to accidents or misuse than existing warheads. Congress denied funding for that program last year, but the administration is seeking some $40 million related to it as part of the most recent annual federal budget request. (See ACT, March 2008 .)

Lawmakers refused to appropriate money last year for the NNSA’s RRW program on the basis that the United States should not start developing new warheads without first determining future U.S. nuclear posture and policy. Hence, Congress mandated the Pentagon to conduct a nuclear posture review and created a separate commission to carry out a similar study.

On March 19, lawmakers announced the dozen experts making up the bipartisan commission. Its chairman is William Perry, a former secretary of defense for the Clinton administration, and the vice chairman is James Schlesinger, a former secretary of defense under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Other members include former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), former Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio), and Fred Ikle, a former director of the defunct Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. The group is supposed to make their recommendations on “the most appropriate strategic posture and most effective nuclear weapons strategy” to Congress and the president by Dec. 1.

 

Hotline to Link U.S.-Chinese Militaries

The Department of Defense has negotiated a landmark new communications hotline between the U.S. military and the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, while it continues to keep a watchful eye on China’s growing military capabilities.

Defense Department officials announced Feb. 29 that they had formally agreed to implement the long-discussed Defense Telephone Link (DTL) with China. The agreement comes after years of talks between the two sides. Hotline talks were given a boost last September when President George W. Bush raised the issue directly with Chinese President Hu Jintao. The link was discussed again when Secretary of Defense Robert Gates visited China in November and at an annual bilateral meeting of undersecretary-level defense representatives in Washington in December. (Continue)

Jeremy Patterson

The Department of Defense has negotiated a landmark new communications hotline between the U.S. military and the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, while it continues to keep a watchful eye on China’s growing military capabilities.

Defense Department officials announced Feb. 29 that they had formally agreed to implement the long-discussed Defense Telephone Link (DTL) with China. The agreement comes after years of talks between the two sides. Hotline talks were given a boost last September when President George W. Bush raised the issue directly with Chinese President Hu Jintao. The link was discussed again when Secretary of Defense Robert Gates visited China in November and at an annual bilateral meeting of undersecretary-level defense representatives in Washington in December.

The formal agreement was reached in Shanghai during a meeting of representatives at the deputy assistant secretary level. In a statement to Arms Control Today March 17, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Patrick Ryder said that “the agreement will allow us to move forward on installing the actual equipment in the next few weeks. We anticipate the DTL will become operational this month.” A Chinese spokesperson refused to commit to a specific date when asked at a March 4 press conference, although he did express hopes that the new connection would “enhance political mutual trust, exchanges, and cooperation.”

At the Shanghai talks, the United States and China also agreed to move forward with their nuclear strategy and policy dialogue. In March 3 remarks, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia David Sedney, who negotiated the final hotline agreement, said “we do have a process in place now. This process was proposed by the PLA [Chinese military], and the first part of that will be a discussion between Chinese military officers and Chinese military academics and counterparts here in the U.S. And we expect that to happen in the next month or so… maybe two months.”

The hotline and nuclear strategy talks are part of a multiyear effort to enhance openness in the troubled relationship between the two military establishments. The Defense Department is eager to learn more about the Chinese military, including better understanding Beijing’s military philosophy, and command and control structures.

Report on Chinese Military Power

The Defense Department’s 2008 Military Power of China report, released March 3, also underscores Washington’s continuing uncertainty about Chinese procedures and intentions. The annual report asserts that the “lack of transparency in China’s military and security affairs poses risks to stability by increasing the potential for misunderstanding and miscalculation.”

This year’s report notes several new developments in China’s nuclear capabilities, including the deployment of fewer than 10 each of the new solid-fueled, road-mobile DF-31 and DF-31A ICBMs. These missiles’ enhanced mobility and quicker launch times make them less vulnerable than the older, liquid-fueled CSS-3 and CSS-4 missiles that are being phased out. The liquid-fueled missiles must be held in position and fueled before they can be launched, a process that takes several hours during which they are vulnerable to disarming strikes. The report asserts that the enhanced mobility enabled by the new missiles will create new command and control challenges for the Chinese leadership.

The report says that China continues to deploy 20 CSS-4 ICBMs. The DF-31A and CSS-4 are the only Chinese ICBMs capable of targeting the continental United States. In contrast, the United States maintains approximately 450 ICBMs and 430 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) that can strike the Chinese mainland.

The Pentagon also reports a substantial increase in CSS-5 deployments. The CSS-5 is a shorter-range, solid-fueled, road-mobile missile for regional use and is expected to fully replace the aging CSS-2 by 2010. CSS-5 deployment has increased from 40-50 missiles with 34-38 launchers last year to 60-80 missiles with 60 launchers this year. Because the report notes that China is preparing a conventionally armed version of the CSS-5, however, it is possible that some of these do not have nuclear missions.

The report also indicates that China is researching technologies for its ballistic missile forces that would counter potential ballistic missile defenses, such as those being developed by the United States. (See ACT, November 2007 .) These include maneuverable re-entry vehicles, multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles, decoys, chaff, jamming, thermal shielding, and anti-satellite weapons.

China also appears to be improving its nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) capabilities. The report indicated that one JIN-class (Type 094) SSBN may soon enter service, although publicly available satellite imagery suggests the existence of at least two of the new submarines.

The report estimates that up to five JIN-class submarines may be deployed by 2010, reflecting for the first time a December 2006 estimate by the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence. The JIN-class submarine will carry the JL-2 SLBM, which the Pentagon expects will reach initial operational capability by 2010.

China has built only one of its previous-generation XIA-class SSBNs equipped with JL-1 SLBMs. The 2008 report now lists the operational status of that submarine as “questionable.”

The report indicates that China has also acquired an uncertain number of cruise missiles. It estimates that China now has 50 to 250 indigenously produced DH-10s. By 2010 the report says new air- and ground-launched cruise missiles “could perform nuclear missions.”

Although new Chinese budgetary figures were not available at the time of the report’s publication, the Pentagon’s report continues to criticize China’s alleged underreporting of its military spending. Historically, the Defense Department has estimated that China’s actual military spending is roughly two to three times the official number reported by the Chinese. China released its claimed 2008 military spending March 4, the day after the Pentagon released its report. China said it would spend $59 billion on its military in 2008, a 17.6 percent increase over the 2007 figure. In contrast, the U.S. military budget in fiscal year 2008, which ends Sept. 30, is $481.4 billion, not including funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Declaration Snags U.S.-North Korean Talks

Peter Crail

A March 13-14 bilateral meeting between U.S. and North Korean officials initiated by Pyongyang was unable to resolve differences over what Pyongyang needs to do to meet a commitment to declare all of its nuclear activities. The key differences involve U.S. concerns that North Korea has pursued a uranium-enrichment program and provided nuclear assistance to other countries. Washington asserts North Korea must come clean on these activities, which Pyongyang denies have occurred or are occurring. U.S. officials also want to make additional progress on dismantling North Korea’s known plutonium-based nuclear weapons program but highlight that the terms of an October 2007 agreement must be completed first.

In October 2007, during six-party talks involving China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea, and the United States, Pyongyang agreed to provide a declaration of all of its nuclear activities by the end of that year. (See ACT, November 2007. ) The agreement also stipulated that, by the same deadline, North Korea would complete disabling the primary nuclear facilities used for its weapons program in return for energy assistance and efforts toward normalizing relations with the United States.

North Korea has proceeded with the disablement process, albeit far more slowly than it originally promised, because of technical obstacles and complaints that other countries have been slow in meeting their commitments. (See ACT, March 2008. ) U.S. officials acknowledged that there have been logistical delays in providing the promised energy assistance but indicate that China, Russia, South Korea, and the United States have subsequently made greater progress on this assistance.

U.S., North Korea Moot Declaration Formats

Christopher Hill, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, met with his North Korean counterpart, Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan, in Geneva March 13-14 to discuss ways to make progress on North Korea’s declaration. The discussion appeared aimed at finding a compromise that addresses U.S. concerns by clarifying North Korea’s activities while allowing the broader process of denuclearization to continue.

The Yonhap News Agency reported March 12 that Chinese diplomats had proposed that North Korea provide information about the two most contentious issues separately from disclosures about the plutonium program. In particular, North Korea alone would provide details on its plutonium program in one document, and Washington and Pyongyang would issue a joint statement addressing the uranium-enrichment and proliferation concerns.

The Washington Times reported Feb. 28 that the United States was considering a different arrangement involving both public and secret declarations. Using this formulation, Pyongyang would provide a formal declaration on its plutonium program and a private document addressing the uranium-enrichment and proliferation questions.

Hill told reporters March 13 that the United States “can be flexible on format” but rejected the notion that he and Kim discussed separating the various issues, stating that the two sides “have never talked about separating elements from the other.” He also dismissed the idea of agreeing on a secret document, stating March 19 that the United States is “not interested in more secrecy.”

A congressional source told Arms Control Today March 25 that a side letter agreement on the uranium-enrichment and proliferation issues would not be a problem for Congress so long as the admissions are “fully transparent and verifiable.” The source added that a secret document would be problematic due to the likelihood that it would be leaked, potentially jeopardizing the process.

Consistent Stance on Enrichment, Proliferation

Pyongyang continues to deny any involvement in uranium enrichment and proliferation. Kyodo News quoted Kim March 14 as stating that North Korea has not carried out such activities in the past or present and “will not engage in them in the future.”

The dispute regarding the uranium-enrichment issue has been a major sticking point since 2002, when U.S. officials claimed that North Korea admitted to pursuing a uranium-enrichment program, a claim Pyongyang continues to deny. (See ACT, November 2002. ) This disagreement led to the collapse of a previous denuclearization agreement between North Korea and the United States.

Following the October 2007 agreement, North Korea sought to provide evidence to U.S. officials that some of the materials that Washington believed Pyongyang imported for a uranium-enrichment program were intended for conventional weapon systems. (See ACT, March 2008. )

In regard to North Korean nuclear proliferation, U.S. officials have maintained that the issue has always been part of the six-party talks. This issue rose to the forefront following a September 2007 Israeli airstrike on a suspected Syrian nuclear facility allegedly constructed with aid from North Korea. Since that incident, Hill has said that he discussed with the North Koreans U.S. concerns regarding Pyongyang’s suspected nuclear assistance to Syria.

Disagreement over these issues does not only relate to North Korea’s past activities, as U.S. intelligence assessments conflict with North Korea’s assurance that these activities of concern are not ongoing. Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell Feb. 27 told the Senate Armed Services Committee that “[w]hile Pyongyang denies a program of uranium enrichment and they deny their proliferation activities, we believe North Korea continues to engage in both.”

South Korea Conditions Key Aid

The lack of progress on fulfilling the terms of the October 2007 agreement may also hinder South Korea’s development assistance to North Korea. South Korean Unification Minister Kim Ha-joong said March 19 that Seoul would continue to maintain the landmark development zone it established at Kaesong to provide economic aid to Pyongyang, but “it would be difficult to expand (the complex) unless North Korea’s nuclear issue is resolved.”

The Kaesong industrial zone was part of a landmark agreement in 2000 in which South Korean companies agreed to operate an industrial park in the demilitarized zone between the two countries. The complex employs about 22,000 North Koreans, and during an historic inter-Korean summit on Oct. 4, 2007, the two Korean states agreed to expand operations at Kaesong over several years. (See ACT, November 2007. )

Prior to taking office, the new South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, pledged to revisit Seoul’s long-standing “sunshine policy” toward Pyongyang and to pursue an economic cooperation policy contingent on North Korean nuclear disarmament. (See ACT, March 2008. ) The sunshine policy, which gave priority to warmer ties with North Korea, was central to Seoul’s relations with Pyongyang between 1998 and 2007.

India Test-Launches Submarine Missile

Wade Boese

India took a recent step toward its longtime goal of deploying nuclear weapons at sea by test-firing a missile from beneath the ocean’s surface. The submarine that this missile type is supposed to arm is scheduled to be put to sea for the first time next year.

 Official details about the Feb. 26 missile test are scant, and the Indian government did not respond to Arms Control Today inquiries requesting information. India’s media, however, reported on the event at length, albeit with some conflicting data.

In addition, the Pakistani government confirmed March 5 that it had been “duly informed” of the test in advance by India. The two rivals agreed in October 2005 to give each other prior notice of their surface-to-surface ballistic missile flight tests. (See ACT, November 2005. ) That notification suggests that the missile tested was a ballistic missile and not a cruise missile as some reports stated. A cruise missile is powered through its entire flight and can maneuver, unlike a ballistic missile, which is only powered during the early stages of its flight and then follows a trajectory dictated by gravity to its target.

The missile India fired from a submersible platform about 50 meters deep in the Bay of Bengal waters was most frequently cited as the K-15. Some reports also called it the Sagarika, which is a missile that two years ago India’s defense minister told lawmakers did not exist.

All reports generally agree that the tested missile can fly approximately 700 kilometers and carry a nuclear warhead. Most reports also declare the experiment was the missile’s inaugural undersea launch. Agence France-Presse Feb. 18 quoted S. Prahlada, a top official of India’s Defence Research and Development Organization, as telling reporters, “[W]e have completed all preparations for the first-ever launch of the missile.” But some reports indicated the missile may have been previously tested secretly, perhaps several times.

Rajesh Basrur, author of the book Minimum Deterrence and India’s Nuclear Security, told Arms Control Today in a March 20 e-mail that the previously reported tests were “component tests” and “the recent one was the first ‘undersea’ trial.” He added, “[T]hat would partly explain the publicity given to it.”

Another expert on Indian nuclear weapons, Bharat Karnad, also e-mailed Arms Control Today March 23 that the February launch was a “full-system test.” Formerly a member of India’s National Security Advisory Board and a participant in crafting India’s 1999 draft nuclear doctrine (see ACT, July/August 1999 ), Karnad contended the launch was a success but “some kinks appeared thereafter in [the missile’s] flight which need ironing out.”

India has at least a few years to try and perfect the missile. Sureesh Mehta, India’s top naval official, disclosed last December that the first Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) would be ready for sea trials in 2009. If the trials go well, it could be inducted into service two or three years later.

Largely kept secret, the ATV would be India’s first indigenous nuclear-powered submarine and India’s first submarine able to fire nuclear-armed missiles. India reportedly is building three of the boats. It began developing nuclear power submarines in the 1970s, but their development was delayed by troubles in building a power reactor small enough to fit onboard.

India’s interest in nuclear-armed submarines has been no secret. The 1999 draft nuclear doctrine endorsed a sea-based nuclear delivery capability. In its May 2006 “vision document,” the Indian navy stated its intent to conduct operations from “conventional war fighting to nuclear deterrence.”

Basrur and Karnad stated that India wants nuclear-armed submarines due to the notion that they are more “invulnerable” than air or ground systems. The thinking is that such arms more persuasively dissuade an adversary that, in a first strike, it will be able to minimize or eliminate the possibility of retaliation. India claims it particularly needs survivable forces because it has forsworn the first use of nuclear weapons. Basrur disagrees, contending that submarine-delivered nuclear weapons invite instability by increasing “risk precisely because they are hard to detect…thereby reducing reaction time and encouraging early warning and launch.” 

Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir, chief of Pakistan’s naval staff, reacted to the Indian test by reportedly calling it a “very serious issue” and warning it could provoke “a new arms race in the region.” In a lengthy interview several months ago with Asian Defence Journal, however, Tahir discounted the possibility that Pakistan would pursue a sea-based nuclear force, stating, “[P]resently, we do not have [the] technological capability and we cannot afford it.”

Other countries with nuclear-armed submarine missiles are China, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and France, which recently commissioned its latest nuclear-armed submarine (see page 35 ). Israel, which neither confirms nor denies its widely believed nuclear arms possession, also allegedly has equipped submarine-based cruise missiles with nuclear warheads. (See ACT, November 2003 .)

Indian Politics Stymie U.S.-Indian Nuclear Deal

Wade Boese

With U.S. officials warning that time is running out on an initiative to rollback restrictions on global nuclear trade with India, that country’s coalition government failed March 17 to persuade its leftist allies to drop their opposition to the U.S.-Indian effort. Another meeting to sway the holdouts is supposed to take place sometime in April.

The government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is trying to win over the leftist parties because they have threatened to withdraw support for the ruling coalition if it takes certain steps toward implementing what the leftists charge is a deal that will erode India’s sovereignty and security. Such a split could trigger early elections that risk unseating Singh’s government.

The key issue at the March conclave was whether Singh’s government should finalize a safeguards agreement it negotiated over the past several months with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Safeguards are measures that the agency applies to a country’s declared civilian nuclear materials, technologies, and facilities to guard against their use for nuclear weapons purposes.

As part of a March 2006 agreement with President George W. Bush, Singh pledged to put eight additional Indian thermal nuclear reactors under IAEA safeguards, leaving another eight outside of safeguards and free to contribute to India’s nuclear weapons sector. New Delhi also plans to keep its two fast breeder reactors, which can produce large quantities of the nuclear bomb material plutonium, outside of safeguards. It further retains the option to designate any future reactors of any type that it builds off-limits to the IAEA.

Singh’s government is seeking the leftist parties’ endorsement of the new safeguards arrangement so it can be completed and presented for approval by the IAEA’s 35-member Board of Governors. The leftist parties have warned that they will break with the government if it proceeds with the safeguards agreement without their consent.

The text of the India-specific safeguards agreement remains secret and unfinished. A source familiar with the IAEA-Indian talks told Arms Control Today March 19 that “the sides are close to a final text, but India has to confirm the text” before it can be presented to the board, which typically has agreed to safeguards arrangements by consensus. It can, however, approve them with a simple majority vote.

At the March meeting, Singh’s government did not share the safeguards text with the representatives of the leftist parties, opting to brief them instead. The Hindu, one of India’s largest daily newspapers, reported afterward that leftist leaders said they need more details and that deliberations might take another three to four months.

That prospect conflicts with recent statements by U.S. government officials and legislators that the IAEA Board of Governors and the voluntary Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) must act rapidly on the U.S.-Indian initiative so U.S. lawmakers can take it up before this summer when Congress will recess and then turn its attention to the November elections. (See ACT, March 2008 .) The 45 members of the NSG, including the United States, seek to coordinate their nuclear export rules, one of which restricts trade with countries, such as India, that do not subject their entire nuclear enterprise to IAEA safeguards and remain outside the 1968 nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. India largely has been ostracized from the international nuclear market since conducting a 1974 nuclear blast that used material derived from Canadian and U.S. exports designated for peaceful purposes.

U.S. lawmakers in December 2006 approved legislation with a provision that the NSG must clear India for expanded nuclear trade before Congress will vote on a U.S.-Indian nuclear trade agreement negotiated last summer. (See ACT, September 2007 .) Meanwhile, the NSG is waiting on IAEA board approval of the Indian safeguards agreement.

The next NSG meeting is scheduled to occur May 19-22, which is prior to the next regular IAEA board meeting June 2-6. A special meeting of the board, however, can be convened at the request of the IAEA director-general or any board member, including the United States or India. The source familiar with the IAEA-Indian talks said that there are “no plans for a special session of the board” but noted that could change quickly if the Indian government gives final approval to the negotiated safeguards text.

Still, the window might already be closed. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, told the Hindustan Times Feb. 29 that the “Indian government needs to move in the month of March on the IAEA Board of Governors” in order to give the NSG and Congress time to act. Noting that “it’s not going to happen overnight,” he warned that the NSG process will be “complicated” and “require many meetings.” Burns further cautioned that if Congress did not get around to passing the agreement this year, he thought “it’s very likely that we will not see it continued by a new administration.”

Bush Says Iraq Oil May Fuel Al Qaeda WMD

During a March 19 speech marking the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush warned of consequences for the early removal of U.S. forces from that country. These, he said, could include the possibility that a withdrawal would indirectly help al Qaeda acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Meanwhile, Vice President Dick Cheney seemed to indicate that Iran was pursuing the development of weapons-grade uranium, a claim contrary to international inspection findings. (Continue)

Peter Crail

During a March 19 speech marking the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush warned of consequences for the early removal of U.S. forces from that country. These, he said, could include the possibility that a withdrawal would indirectly help al Qaeda acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Meanwhile, Vice President Dick Cheney seemed to indicate that Iran was pursuing the development of weapons-grade uranium, a claim contrary to international inspection findings.

In his March 19 remarks, Bush stated that “an emboldened al Qaeda with access to Iraq’s oil resources could pursue its ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction to attack America and other free nations.”

It is not evident, however, that access to substantial additional funds would be an important factor in al Qaeda’s ability to develop weapons of mass destruction.

In regard to nuclear weapons, a 2006 unclassified intelligence report to Congress on WMD proliferation concluded that al Qaeda’s “key obstacle” in developing a nuclear device is acquiring sufficient fissile material. Al Qaeda has pursued a nuclear weapons capability since the early 1990s, but attempts to purchase the necessary material are believed to have been unsuccessful. Known attempts include cases in which the purchase was prevented by law enforcement authorities or in which the group bought material falsely sold as nuclear material.

Prior to the October 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, al Qaeda had more success in developing a limited biological and chemical weapons capability. According to the 2005 “Report of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction,” al Qaeda recruited individuals during the 1990s with sufficient technical expertise for rudimentary biological and chemical weapons programs. (See ACT, October 2006. )

The report described al Qaeda’s biological weapons work as “extensive” and “well-organized” and indicated that it was operated by “individuals with special training.” Similarly, the commission indicated that some al Qaeda members had know-how to produce and deploy “common chemical agents.” However, U.S. intelligence agencies were “doubtful” that the organization was capable of carrying out mass casualty attacks with advanced chemical agents.

The 2004 report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, informally known as the 9/11 Commission, stated that al Qaeda’s overall operations prior to the September 2001 attacks cost about $30 million each year, based almost entirely on donations. It is unclear how much of this funding was dedicated to the organization’s WMD pursuits.

Al Qaeda’s biological and chemical weapons programs were largely dismantled following U.S.-led military operations in Afghanistan. A 2005 unclassified intelligence report to Congress on WMD proliferation indicated that there were no reliable reports of an active al Qaeda biological weapons program but judged that acquiring such weapons remained an important goal. The report stated that al Qaeda continued “possible chemical-related training” in Pakistan, but the commission had no evidence of a concerted program similar to al Qaeda’s pre-2001 pursuits.

Cheney Suggests That Iran Is Developing HEU

In addition to commenting on the WMD threat from al Qaeda, administration officials continue to highlight the threat from Iran’s nuclear program. During a March 24 ABC News interview, Cheney stated that Iran is “heavily involved in trying to develop nuclear weapons enrichment, the enrichment of uranium to weapons-grade levels.”

However, a Feb. 22 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency indicated that Iran has enriched uranium to 3.8 percent uranium-235 (from natural concentrations of less than 1 percent), a typical level for nuclear power reactors. Weapons-grade enrichment requires a concentration of 90 percent or more of this fissile isotope.

Enrichment facilities can be used to produce any level of enrichment. However, a December 2007 National Intelligence Estimate assessed with moderate confidence that, between 2010 and 2015, Iran will be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium (HEU) for a weapon. The U.S. intelligence community also judged with moderate confidence that Iran would not use its declared facilities to carry out such enrichment.

Security Council Adopts More Iran Sanctions

Peter Crail

The UN Security Council March 3 adopted a third sanctions resolution responding to Iran’s refusal to comply with the council’s demands to suspend its nuclear fuel-cycle activities. Resolution 1803 calls on states to undertake additional efforts to prevent Iran from financing or procuring technology for its nuclear and missile programs, as well as broadening the existing sanctions imposed under two previous resolutions. The five permanent members of the Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and Germany agreed on pursuing the resolution as part of a “package deal,” seeking to impose additional sanctions on Iran on one hand, but also agreeing “to further enhance diplomatic efforts” to find a comprehensive long-term resolution to the nuclear issue as part of their “dual track approach.”

The council adopted the resolution with 14 votes in favor and Indonesia abstaining. Indonesian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Marty Natalegawa explained to the council following the March 3 vote that “Indonesia remains to be convinced of the efficacy of adopting additional sanctions at this juncture.”

A Modest Increase in Sanctions

Resolution 1803 reiterates the demands of three previous resolutions requiring Iran to suspend its activities related to uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing, as well as work on its heavy-water reactor. These activities have civilian nuclear uses but may also be used to create fissile material for nuclear weapons. The council initially made this demand in Resolution 1696, adopted in July 2006. It reiterated this demand in two subsequent sanctions resolutions, 1737 adopted in December 2006 and Resolution 1747 adopted in March 2007.

The resolution requests that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei submit a report to the council and the IAEA Board of Governors by June 3 regarding Iran’s compliance with these obligations. The agency’s board is scheduled to meet June 2-6. ElBaradei issued a report on Iran’s nuclear program Feb. 22 indicating that although Tehran had increased its cooperation with the agency, it did not suspend its nuclear fuel-cycle activities and has not yet answered questions regarding suspected work related to nuclear weapons. (See ACT, March 2008. )

As in Resolutions 1737 and 1747, Resolution 1803 highlights that the council will suspend its sanctions as long as Iran carries out these demands and will terminate the sanctions as soon as the IAEA verifies that “Iran has fully complied with” its obligations to the Security Council and the IAEA. It also indicates that if Iran fails to meet these obligations, the council shall “adopt further appropriate measures under Article 41 of Chapter VII” of the UN Charter. Article 41 grants the council the authority to adopt nonmilitary measures in response to threats to international peace and security.

Resolution 1803 expands and strengthens some of the targeted sanctions measures included in Resolutions 1737 and 1747. For example, the resolution extends the financial restrictions contained in the two previous resolutions, such as funds and assets freezes, to an additional 13 persons and seven entities involved in Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. It also calls on states to “exercise vigilance and restraint” regarding the “entry into or transit through their territories” of these 13 persons.

In a slight strengthening of the travel restrictions imposed by the two previous resolutions, Resolution 1803 requires that states prevent the travel of a select list of five persons involved in Iran’s nuclear program whom were designated under Resolutions 1737 and 1747.

Resolution 1803 also expands the scope of restrictions on nuclear- and missile-related technology transfers to Iran. For example, Resolution 1737 placed restrictions on the supply of items and technologies directly associated with nuclear programs, but the new resolution places similar restrictions on a list of dual-use nuclear goods that have nuclear and non-nuclear applications.

This prohibition on dual-use nuclear technology does not apply to transfers exclusively for use in light-water reactors (LWRs) or for nonprohibited IAEA technical cooperation with Iran. All such transfers, however, must be carried out under strict control, including verifying the appropriate end use after shipment and notifying the committee established under Resolution 1737 of such transfers.

The exemption for LWR-related transfers allows Russia to continue its work on Iran’s first nuclear power reactor at Bushehr, scheduled for completion late this year.

In order for states to avoid financing Tehran’s proliferation activities, Resolution 1803 calls on all states to “exercise vigilance” regarding their firms that have dealings with Iran. In particular, it asks states to be wary of granting export credits, guarantees, or insurance to their businesses trading with Iran. The resolution also asks that states exercise the same caution in regard to activities between their financial institutions and Iranian banks, especially the state-owned Bank Melli and Bank Saderat and their branches and subsidiaries.

The United States has previously imposed financial sanctions on Bank Melli and Bank Saderat, Iran’s largest and second-largest state-owned banks, respectively. In October 2007, Washington placed restrictions on Bank Melli for its contributions to Iran’s nuclear and missile programs and on Bank Saderat for its contributions to terrorist organizations. (See ACT, November 2007. )

The most controversial provision of the resolution calls on all states to carry out inspections of cargo going to and coming from Iran “at their airports and seaports” and of aircraft and vessels owned or operated by Iran Air Cargo and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line “provided there are reasonable grounds to believe” the cargo contains goods prohibited under the sanctions resolutions.

During the negotiations on the draft resolution in the council, some states, including Libya, South Africa, and Vietnam, expressed opposition to this provision due to legal concerns and the potential to incite hostilities. (See ACT, March 2008. ) Explaining South Africa’s vote in favor of the resolution March 3, Dumisani Kumalo, South Africa’s permanent representative to the UN, told the council that Pretoria “would have preferred that the resolution not contain the controversial provision” allowing such inspections “as this could spark confrontation.”

In order to address such concerns, language was added to the draft resolution requiring that these inspections be carried out in accordance with “national legal authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, in particular the law of the sea and relevant international civil aviation agreements.”

As with the two previous resolutions, the resolution contains a call for states to report to a Security Council committee established under Resolution 1737 on the efforts they have taken to implement the sanctions within 60 days. Of the 192 UN members, about 85 states have submitted reports on their efforts under Resolution 1737, and about 71 have done so for Resolution 1747.

Further Developing Incentives

In addition to imposing sanctions on Iran, the resolution “stresses the willingness” of the five permanent members of the council and Germany “to further enhance diplomatic efforts” to find a comprehensive long-term settlement of the nuclear issue with Tehran.

Following the adoption of the resolution, the United Kingdom issued a statement on behalf of the group. The statement indicated that the six powers reconfirm the proposals they presented to Iran in June 2006 “and are prepared to further develop them.” According to the 2006 proposal, once Iran suspends its nuclear fuel-cycle activities, the six countries offered to negotiate a wide range of opportunities for technical, economic, and political cooperation with Iran, including European-Iranian nuclear cooperation. (See ACT, July/August 2006. )

Tehran formally rejected the proposal in August 2006. It claimed that, although the proposal contained “useful foundations and capacities for comprehensive and long-term cooperation,” it also had numerous ambiguities, in particular with regard to “Iran’s right to [a] peaceful nuclear program.”

A British diplomat told Arms Control Today March 19 that the primary reason for Tehran’s rejection of the offer was that it did not permit Iran to enrich uranium.

Since the 2006 offer was made, EU High Representative Javier Solana has held intermittent discussions with Iran on behalf of the six countries in order to open negotiations for a long-term settlement of the nuclear issue on the basis of the incentives package. These discussions have not been successful, and Solana said that he was “disappointed” with the latest talks in November 2007. (See ACT, December 2007. ) Resolution 1803 encourages these negotiations to continue.

The decision to further develop the incentives package was part of the overall agreement by the six countries on the draft sanctions they proposed to the council in February. (See ACT, March 2008. ) Russia and China conditioned their support for the additional sanctions on an agreement to repackage the incentives offer. A Russian diplomat told Arms Control Today March 3 that the agreement to enhance the incentives proposal was necessary in order for Moscow to support the draft sanctions resolution. Similarly, a German diplomat said March 5 that further work on the offer was also important to ensure Chinese support for the additional sanctions.

In a March 3 statement, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, told reporters that Moscow viewed the resolution and the statement of the six countries as a “package deal.” He highlighted that the statement is “extremely significant” as it does not just reiterate but expands on the June 2006 offer and asserted that it “deserves serious reflections on the Iranian side.”

European diplomats told Arms Control Today that the main purpose of “repackaging” the incentives offer is to demonstrate to the Iranian population the benefits that they would receive if Tehran decided to cooperate and suspend their nuclear fuel-cycle programs in order to enter negotiations. Several Western diplomats described the repackaging process as “ongoing.”

A British diplomat said March 19 that “the Iranian regime has been opaque with the Iranian people about the offer on the table,” adding that, should the Iranian public become aware of what the Iranian leadership was rejecting, “it may place public pressure on the regime.” The diplomat noted that the repackaging was largely clarifying the advantages that the Iranians would gain from cooperation.

Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. permanent representative to the UN, made a similar appeal in a March 4 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, citing in particular the U.S. recognition of Iran’s right to develop peaceful nuclear energy. Underlining the benefits that Iran would receive from the incentive package, he stated that the Iranian people “should know that the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany have offered to help Iran develop civil nuclear power” if Iran complies with the council’s “very reasonable demand” to suspend enrichment.

The March 3 resolution and six-country statement were issued more than a week prior to the March 14 Iranian parliamentary elections. The elections did not result in substantial changes in the makeup of the Iranian parliament.

Iran Rejects Suspension, Dialogue

Even before the adoption of Resolution 1803, Iran reiterated its refusal to comply with the council’s demands to suspend its nuclear fuel-cycle activities. Speaking to the council prior to the March 3 vote on the resolution, Mohammad Khazaee, Iran’s permanent representative to the UN, stated in regard to suspension that “Iran cannot and will not accept a requirement which is legally defective and politically coercive.”

Iran also rejected the call by the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany to pursue discussions on the nuclear issue on the basis of the incentives package. Iranian government spokesperson Gholam Hossein Elham told reporters March 15, “The issue of nuclear talks with the countries of the [five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany] is over.”

Unlike Iran’s response to the adoption of Resolution 1747, in which Iran curtailed its cooperation with the IAEA, Iranian officials have stated that Tehran will continue to work with the agency in line with its safeguards obligations. Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh, Tehran’s ambassador to the IAEA, told Iran’s Press TV March 4, “Iran will continue its cooperation with the IAEA in accordance with the IAEA statute, [the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty], and its comprehensive safeguard[s] agreement.”

In March 2007, Iran suspended a subsidiary pact to its safeguards agreement that required Iran to provide design information for nuclear facilities as soon as it authorizes construction. Resolution 1803 underlines that the IAEA “has sought confirmation” that Iran will reapply this subsidiary agreement.


UN Security Council Resolution 1803

The UN Security Council on March 3 adopted Resolution 1803 imposing additional targeted sanctions on Iran for its failure to implement steps required in past resolutions, such as suspending its uranium-enrichment-related activities. The resolution was passed with 14 votes in favor and Indonesia abstaining. As with several past resolutions, Resolution 1803 was adopted under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which provides for the Security Council to take nonmilitary actions to threats to international peace and security.

The resolution expands on and strengthens some of the sanctions contained in Resolutions 1737, adopted in December 2006, and 1747, adopted in March 2007. These sanctions include travel and financial restrictions on Iranian personnel involved in Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, controls over the transfer of certain nuclear- and missile-related goods to Iran, and constraints on providing Iran with major conventional combat systems.

In addition to sanctions, the resolution highlights the efforts by China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States to further develop their June 2006 incentives offer to Iran in order to negotiate a comprehensive resolution of the nuclear issue once Iran suspends its relevant nuclear activities.

In particular, Resolution 1803:

• Reaffirms that Iran must verifiably suspend all of its activities related to uranium enrichment, spent fuel reprocessing, and heavy-water reactor construction. It also reaffirms the call by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for Iran to ratify and implement an additional protocol to its safeguards agreement, which provides the agency with enhanced inspection authority in order to detect undeclared nuclear activities.

• Welcomes the August 2007 work plan concluded between the IAEA and Iran to resolve all outstanding safeguards issues and the progress made in this regard as detailed in the Feb. 22 report of IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei. It encourages the IAEA to continue its work to clarify these outstanding issues.

• Calls on all states to exercise vigilance and restraint regarding the entry or transit of Iranian personnel associated with Iran’s nuclear and missile programs through their territories. The council decides that all states shall notify the Iran sanctions committee established pursuant to Resolution 1737 of the movement of additional Iranian personnel designated in an annex of this resolution.

• Decides that all states shall prevent the entry or transit of Iranian personnel designated in an annex to this resolution, as well as any additional persons designated by the council.

• Decides that all states shall freeze the financial assets and economic resources that are on their territories that are owned or controlled by the persons or organizations designated in annexes to the resolution.

• Decides that all states shall prevent the transfer of nuclear dual-use items and technology to Iran except for light-water reactors and IAEA projects. These transfers must be subject to strict controls. The council also decides that all states shall prevent the transfer of specialized materials, technologies and subcomponents that may be used in missile systems.

• Calls on all states to exercise vigilance in providing public financial support for trade with Iran, including granting export credits, guarantees, or insurance to entities involved in such trade.

• Calls on all states to exercise vigilance over their financial institutions involved with Iranian banks, especially Bank Melli and Bank Saderat, in order to prevent them from assisting the finance of Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

• Calls on all states to inspect the cargoes to and from Iran of aircraft and vessels owned or operated by Iran Air Cargo and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line at their airports and seaports upon suspicion that such cargoes may be transporting items and technologies prohibited under the council’s resolutions. The council also requires that states must submit a report to the council within five working days regarding the details and rationale regarding such an inspection.

• Calls on all states to report to the Iran sanctions committee within 60 days on steps they have taken to implement the sanctions in the resolution.

• Stresses the willingness of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States to further enhance their diplomatic efforts on the basis of their June 2006 offer to Iran in order to reach a long-term resolution of the nuclear issue so long as Iran verifiably suspends its sensitive nuclear fuel-cycle activities.

• Encourages European High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana to continue communications with Iran in order to create the necessary conditions for resuming talks on a diplomatic solution.

• Requests a report from ElBaradei on Iran’s compliance with the resolution within 90 days.

• Reaffirms that the council shall suspend sanctions as long as Iran verifiably suspends its nuclear fuel-cycle activities to allow negotiations on a long-term resolution to occur.

• Reaffirms that the council will halt sanctions once the IAEA director-general confirms that Iran has complied with the obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions and meets the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors.

• Reaffirms that if the June 2008 report by ElBaradei demonstrates that Iran has not complied with the council’s resolutions, the council shall adopt further nonmilitary punitive responses.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - April 2008