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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

INTRO:  The Czech parliament has banned the sale of 
sensitive technology for a nuclear power plant in 
Iran.  (128 deputies voted for the measure out of 183 
present.)  Alena Kenclova in Prague has more.
TEXT:  The lower house of the Czech parliament held a 
two-day emergency session before approving a special 
law prohibiting the deliveries.  
It puts an end to months of debate about whether a 
Czech engineering company (Z-V-V-Z Milevsko) can sell 
30-million dollars worth of equipment to Iran through 
a Russian intermediary.  The equipment was to be 
supplied to a nuclear power plant being built in 
All parties in the Czech parliament, except the 
communists, supported the ban on the sale.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who visited 
Prague this week, said she appreciated the Czech 
government's commitment to prevent the proliferation 
of technology, which could be misused for a nuclear 
weapons program.
/// OPT ///  German and French companies were involved 
in the initial stages of the Bushehr power plant from 
1974.  But they withdrew after the Islamic revolution 
in 1979.  Russian companies took over in 1995, after 
almost two-dozen countries were reported to have 
refused to participate.  /// END OPT ///
Opposition parties criticized the Social Democrat 
cabinet for its slow reaction to the intended deal. 
/// OPT ///  Compensation will now have to be paid by 
Czech taxpayers in an economy that is still struggling 
hard with restructuring.  The Social Democrat 
government says it will help the company find new 
orders.  /// END OPT /// 
Secretary of State Albright said during her visit to 
Prague that the recent parliamentary elections in Iran 
were a sign that the reform movement in the country 
would like to see some changes.  But asked whether the 
United States was considering lifting sanctions on 
some goods, Secretary Albright listed three 
            // ALBRIGHT ACT //
      Iran must not seek to acquire weapons of mass 
      destruction, that is one of our problems, the 
      other is their continued support for terrorist 
      groups, and the third, they need to support the 
      Middle East peace process. 
              // END ACT //
The Czech law banning the technology sale to Iran must 
still be approved by the senate and signed by Czech 
President Vaclav Havel to come into effect.   (SIGNED)
08-Mar-2000 13:32 PM EDT (08-Mar-2000 1832 UTC)
Source: Voice of America

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