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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

31 January 2002

Text: New CIA Report Documents Global Weapons Proliferation Trends

(Growth of "secondary proliferation" poses added concern) (6330)
A new report submitted to Congress January 30 by the Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) says the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction (WMD) is changing in ways that are increasingly difficult
to monitor, thereby "increasing the risk" of their possible future
surprise use.
The report, using data gathered from January 1 to June 30, 2001, for
its analysis, finds that nations that want to maintain a WMD
capability and accompanying delivery systems "are demonstrating
greater proficiency in the use of denial and deception efforts." As
countries seek a greater indigenous production capability, CIA
analysts say they are worried about an increase of "secondary
proliferation" from more sophisticated state-sponsored programs, such
as those in Iran, North Korea and Pakistan, to entirely new
The report also touches on the possibility of terrorists using
chemical, biological, nuclear and/or radiological materials,
especially since the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and
Washington. Several of the U.S.-designated foreign terrorist
organizations and other non-state actors have expressed interest in
these materials, according to the report, even though they are likely
to prefer more traditional tactics.
Usama bin Laden and groups allied him with have sought to obtain some
of these specialized materials and have made statements about using
unconventional weapons to further their goals "which could be an
attempt to justify the use of such weapons," according to the report's
The report looks at WMD and advanced conventional weapons activities
associated with Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Sudan, India,
Pakistan and Egypt. It cites Russia, China and North Korea as being
key suppliers of various technologies and expertise. The report also
makes the following points:
-- Iran remains one of the most active countries seeking to acquire
WMD and advanced weapons and associated technology, indicating its
desire to develop a domestic capability to produce various types of
chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and their delivery systems.
-- Iraq has likely sought to reconstitute prohibited weapons programs
in the absence of United Nations-mandated arms inspections since 1998.
-- North Korea continues to seek technology worldwide that could be
applied to its nuclear program -- a program that may have already
produced sufficient plutonium for one, or possibly two, nuclear
-- Libya apparently is still seeking an offensive chemical weapons
capability and may be interested in acquiring a capability to produce
biological weapons agents.
-- Syria is working on establishing a solid-propellant rocket motor
development and production capability, with help from outside
countries such as North Korea and Russia.
-- Sudan is focused mainly on a chemical weapons capability and
acquiring older conventional weapons from various sources, and it may
be interested in biological agents as well.
-- India continues work on its nuclear weapons development program and
is seeking foreign assistance for its civilian nuclear power program,
primarily from Russia.
-- Pakistan continues to acquire nuclear-related and dual-use
equipment and materials from various sources in Western Europe, while
its ballistic missile program has been aided by Chinese entities.
-- Egypt has sought ballistic missile development support from North
Following is the text of the report:
(begin text)
Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology
Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional
1 January Through 30 June 2001
Scope Note
Acquisition by Country:
North Korea
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Terrorism:
Key Suppliers:
North Korea
Western Countries
Scope Note
The Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) hereby submits this report
in response to a Congressionally directed action in Section 721 of the
FY 97 Intelligence Authorization Act, which requires:
"(a) Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this
Act, and every 6 months thereafter, the Director of Central
Intelligence shall submit to Congress a report on
(1) the acquisition by foreign countries during the preceding 6 months
of dual-use and other technology useful for the development or
production of weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear weapons,
chemical weapons, and biological weapons) and advanced conventional
munitions; and
(2) trends in the acquisition of such technology by such countries."
At the DCI's request, the DCI Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation,
and Arms Control Center (WINPAC) drafted this report and coordinated
it throughout the Intelligence Community. As directed by Section 721,
subsection (b) of the Act, it is unclassified. As such, the report
does not present the details of the Intelligence Community's
assessments of weapons of mass destruction and advanced conventional
munitions programs that are available in other classified reports and
briefings for the Congress.
Acquisition by Country:
As required by Section 721 of the FY 97 Intelligence Authorization
Act, the following are summaries by country of acquisition activities
(solicitations, negotiations, contracts, and deliveries) related to
weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and advanced conventional weapons
(ACW) that occurred from 1 January through 30 June 2001. We have
excluded countries that already have substantial WMD programs, such as
China and Russia, as well as countries that demonstrated little WMD
acquisition activity of concern.
Iran remains one of the most active countries seeking to acquire WMD
and ACW technology from abroad. In doing so, Tehran is attempting to
develop a domestic capability to produce various types of
weapons-chemical, biological, and nuclear-and their delivery systems.
During the reporting period, the evidence indicates determined Iranian
efforts to acquire WMD- and ACW-related equipment, materials, and
technology focused primarily on entities in Russia, China, North
Korea, and Western Europe.
Iran, a Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) States party, already has
manufactured and stockpiled chemical weapons - including blister,
blood, choking, and probably nerve agents, and the bombs and artillery
shells to deliver them. During the first half of 2001, Tehran
continued to seek production technology, training, expertise,
equipment, and chemicals from entities in Russia and China that could
be used to help Iran reach its goal of having an indigenous nerve
agent production capability.
Tehran continued its efforts to seek considerable dual-use
biotechnical materials, equipment, and expertise from abroad-primarily
from entities in Russia and Western Europe-ostensibly for civilian
uses. We judge that this equipment and know-how could be applied to
Iran's biological warfare (BW) program. Iran probably began its
offensive BW program during the Iran-Iraq war, and it may have some
limited capability for BW deployment.
Iran also sought nuclear-related equipment, material, and technical
expertise from a variety of sources, especially in Russia. Russia is
continuing its work on the construction of a 1,000-megawatt nuclear
power reactor at Bushehr that will be subject to International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. In addition, Russian entities
continued to interact with Iranian research centers on various other
nuclear fuel cycle activities. These projects will help Iran augment
its nuclear technology infrastructure, which in turn would be useful
in supporting nuclear weapons-related research and development. The
expertise and technology gained, along with the commercial channels
and contacts established-particularly through the Bushehr nuclear
power plant project-could be used to advance Iran's nuclear weapons
research and development program.
Beginning in January 1998, the Russian Government took a number of
steps to increase its oversight of entities involved in dealings with
Iran and other states of proliferation concern. In 1999, it pushed a
new export control law through the Duma. Russian firms, however, faced
economic pressures to circumvent these controls and did so in some
cases. The Russian Government, moreover, failed to enforce its export
controls in some cases regarding Iran. A component of the Russian
Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM) contracted with Iran to provide
equipment clearly intended for Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation
(AVLIS). Some key equipment was to have been delivered in late 2000
but continues to be held up as a result of US protests. AVLIS
technology could provide Iran the means to produce weapons-grade
China pledged in October 1997 to halt cooperation on a uranium
conversion facility (UCF) and to forego any new nuclear cooperation
with Iran but said it would complete cooperation on two nuclear
projects: a small research reactor and a zirconium production facility
at Esfahan that Iran will use to produce cladding for reactor fuel[1].
As a party to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons
(NPT), Iran is required to apply IAEA safeguards to nuclear fuel, but
safeguards are not required for the zirconium plant or its products.
Iran has attempted to use its civilian nuclear energy program, which
is quite modest in scope, to justify its efforts to establish
domestically or otherwise acquire assorted nuclear fuel-cycle
capabilities. Such capabilities, however, can support fissile material
production for a weapons program, and we believe it is this objective
that drives Iran's efforts to acquire relevant facilities. For
example, Iran has sought to obtain turnkey facilities, such as the
UCF, that ostensibly would be used to support fuel production for the
Bushehr power plant. But the UCF could be used in any number of ways
to support fissile material production needed for a nuclear
weapon-specifically, production of uranium hexafluoride for use as a
feedstock for uranium enrichment operations and production of uranium
compounds suitable for use as fuel in a plutonium production reactor.
In addition, we suspect that Tehran most likely is interested in
acquiring foreign fissile material and technology for weapons
development as part of its overall nuclear weapons program.
During the first six months of 2001, entities in Russia, North Korea,
and China continued to supply crucial ballistic missile-related
equipment, technology, and expertise to Iran. Tehran is using
assistance from foreign suppliers and entities to support current
development and production programs and to achieve its goal of
becoming self-sufficient in the production of ballistic missiles. Iran
already is producing Scud short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) and
is in the late stages of developing the Shahab-3 medium-range
ballistic missile (MRBM). Iran has built and publicly displayed
prototypes for the Shahab?3 and has tested the Shahab-3 three
times-July 1998, July 2000, and September 2000. In addition, Iran has
publicly acknowledged the development of a Shahab-4, originally
calling it a more capable ballistic missile than the Shahab-3 but
later categorizing it as solely a space launch vehicle with no
military applications. Iran's Defense Minister also has publicly
mentioned plans for a "Shahab-5". Such statements, made against the
backdrop of sustained cooperation with Russian, North Korean, and
Chinese entities, strongly suggest that Tehran intends to develop a
longer-range ballistic missile capability.
Iran continues to seek and acquire conventional weapons and production
technologies primarily from Russia and China. Since Russia's public
abrogation of the 1995 Gore-Chernomyrdin Agreement in November 2000,
Iran has expressed interest in acquiring a variety of Russian air,
naval and ground weapons. In an effort to lay the groundwork for new
arms sales, representatives of the Russian and Iranian governments
have exchanged high-level visits during negotiations for a new
framework agreement. Until that agreement is concluded, Russia will
continue to deliver on existing contracts, but few new weapons
contracts are likely to be completed. Iran and Russia did agree on the
transfer of additional Mi-8, Mi-17, and Mi-171 transport helicopters,
for which the new military-technical cooperation agreement may not
have been needed.
Baghdad has refused since December 1998 to allow United Nations
inspectors into Iraq as required by Security Council Resolution 687.
In spite of ongoing UN efforts to establish a follow-on inspection
regime comprising the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection
Commission (UNMOVIC) and the IAEA's Iraq Action Team, no UN
inspections occurred during this reporting period. Moreover, the
automated video monitoring systems installed by the UN at known and
suspect WMD facilities in Iraq are still not operating. Having lost
this on-the-ground access, it is more difficult for the UN or the US
to accurately assess the current state of Iraq's WMD programs.
Given Iraq's past behavior, it is likely that Baghdad has used the
intervening period to reconstitute prohibited programs. We assess that
since the suspension of UN inspections in December of 1998, Baghdad
has had the capability to reinitiate its CW programs within a few
weeks to months. Iraq's failure to submit an accurate Full, Final, and
Complete Disclosure (FFCD) in either 1995 or 1997, coupled with its
extensive concealment efforts, suggest that the BW program has
continued. Without an inspection-monitoring program, however, it is
more difficult to determine the current status of these programs.
Since the Gulf war, Iraq has rebuilt key portions of its chemical
production infrastructure for industrial and commercial use, as well
as its missile production facilities. Iraq has attempted to purchase
numerous dual-use items for, or under the guise of, legitimate
civilian use. This equipment-in principle subject to UN scrutiny-also
could be diverted for WMD purposes. Since the suspension of UN
inspections in December 1998, the risk of diversion has increased.
After Desert Fox, Baghdad again instituted a reconstruction effort on
those facilities destroyed by the US bombing, including several
critical missile production complexes and former dual-use CW
production facilities. In addition, Iraq appears to be installing or
repairing dual-use equipment at CW-related facilities. Some of these
facilities could be converted fairly quickly for production of CW
UNSCOM reported to the Security Council in December 1998 that Iraq
also continued to withhold information related to its CW program. For
example, Baghdad seized from UNSCOM inspectors an Iraqi Air Force
document discovered by UNSCOM that indicated that Iraq had not
consumed as many CW munitions during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s as
had been declared by Baghdad. This discrepancy indicates that Iraq may
have hidden an additional 6,000 CW munitions.
In 1995, Iraq admitted to having an offensive BW program and submitted
the first in a series of FFCDs that were supposed to have revealed the
full scope of its BW program. According to UNSCOM, these disclosures
are incomplete and filled with inaccuracies. Since the full scope and
nature of Iraq's BW program was not verified, UNSCOM has assessed that
Iraq maintains a knowledge base and industrial infrastructure that
could be used to produce quickly a large amount of BW agents at any
time. Iraq also has continued dual-use research that could improve BW
agent R&D capabilities. With the absence of a monitoring regime and
Iraq's growing industrial self-sufficiency, we remain concerned that
Iraq may again be producing biological warfare agents.
Iraq has worked on its L-29 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program,
which involves converting L-29 jet trainer aircraft originally
acquired from Eastern Europe. In the past, Iraq has conducted flights
of the L-29, possibly to test system improvements or to train new
pilots. These refurbished trainer aircraft are believed to have been
modified for delivery of chemical or, more likely, biological warfare
We believe that Iraq has probably continued at least low-level
theoretical R&D associated with its nuclear program. A sufficient
source of fissile material remains Iraq's most significant obstacle to
being able to produce a nuclear weapon. Although we were already
concerned about a reconstituted nuclear weapons program, our concerns
increased in September 2000 when Saddam publicly exhorted his "Nuclear
Mujahidin" to "defeat the enemy." The Intelligence Community remains
concerned that Baghdad may be attempting to acquire materials that
could aid in reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.
Iraq continues to pursue development of SRBM systems that are not
prohibited by the United Nations and may be expanding to longer-range
systems. Pursuit of UN-permitted missiles continues to allow Baghdad
to develop technological improvements and infrastructure that could be
applied to a longer-range missile program. We believe that development
of the liquid-propellant Al-Samoud SRBM probably is maturing and that
a low-level operational capability could be achieved in the near term
- which is further suggested by the appearance of four Al Samoud
transporter-erector-launchers (TELs) with airframes at the 31 December
2000 Al Aqsa parade. The solid-propellant missile development program
may now be receiving a higher priority, and development of the
Ababil-100 SRBM - two such airframes and TELs were paraded on 31
December-and possibly longer range systems may be moving ahead
rapidly. If economic sanctions against Iraq were lifted, Baghdad
probably would increase its attempts to acquire missile-related items
from foreign sources, regardless of any future UN monitoring and
continuing restrictions on long-range ballistic missile programs. Iraq
probably retains a small, covert force of Scud-type missiles.
Iraq's ACW acquisitions remain low due to the generally successful
enforcement of the UN arms embargo. Baghdad has acquired smaller arms
and components for larger arms, such as spare parts for aircraft and
air defense systems, primarily over porous land borders via a thriving
gray arms market. Iraq also acquires some dual-use and production
items through the Oil For Food program. Iraq continues to aggressively
seek ACW equipment and technology.
North Korea
During this time frame, North Korea continued procurement of raw
materials and components for its ballistic missile programs from
various foreign sources, especially through North Korean firms based
in China. We assess that North Korea is capable of producing and
delivering via missile warheads or other munitions a wide variety of
chemical agents and possibly some biological agents.
During the second half of 2001, P'yongyang continued its attempts to
procure technology worldwide that could have applications in its
nuclear program. We assess that North Korea has produced enough
plutonium for at least one, and possibly two, nuclear weapons. Spent
fuel rods canned in accordance with the 1994 Agreed Framework contain
enough plutonium for several more weapons.
In April 2001, P'yongyang signed a Defense Industry Cooperation
Agreement with Russia, laying the groundwork for potential arms sales
and transfers to North Korea. Actual sales and deliveries, however,
will be dependent on P'yongyang's ability to pay.
Libya is continuing its efforts to obtain ballistic missile-related
equipment, materials, technology, and expertise from foreign sources.
Outside assistance-particularly Serbian, Indian, North Korean and
Chinese-is critical to its ballistic missile development programs, and
the suspension of UN sanctions in 1999 has allowed Tripoli to expand
its procurement effort. Libya's current capability probably remains
limited to its Scud B missiles, but with continued foreign assistance
it will probably achieve an MRBM capability-a long-desired goal-or
extended-range Scud capability.
Libya remains heavily dependent on foreign suppliers for precursor
chemicals and other key CW-related equipment. Following the suspension
of UN sanctions in April 1999, Tripoli reestablished contacts with
sources of expertise, parts, and precursor chemicals abroad, primarily
in Western Europe. Libya still appears to have a goal of establishing
an offensive CW capability and an indigenous production capability for
weapons. Evidence suggests Libya also is seeking to acquire the
capability to develop and produce BW agents.
Libya-an NPT party with full scope IAEA safeguards-continues to
develop its nuclear research and development program but would still
require significant foreign assistance to advance a nuclear weapons
option. The suspension of UN sanctions has accelerated the pace of
procurement efforts in Libya's drive to rejuvenate its ostensibly
civilian nuclear program. In January and November 2000, for example,
Tripoli and Moscow renewed talks on cooperation at the Tajura Nuclear
Research Center and discussed a potential power reactor deal. Should
such civil-sector work come to fruition, Libya could gain
opportunities to pursue technologies that could be diverted for
military purposes.
Following the suspension of UN sanctions, Libya has negotiated-and
completed-contracts with Russian firms for conventional weapons,
munitions, and upgrades and refurbishment for its existing inventory
of Soviet-era weapons.
Syria sought CW-related precursors and expertise from foreign sources
during the reporting period. Damascus already has a stockpile of the
nerve agent sarin, and it would appear that Syria is trying to develop
more toxic and persistent nerve agents. Syria remains dependent on
foreign sources for key elements of its CW program, including
precursor chemicals and key production equipment. It is highly
probable that Syria also is developing an offensive BW capability.
Syria-an NPT signatory with full-scope IAEA safeguards-has a nuclear
research center at Dayr Al Jajar. In January 2000, Russia approved a
draft cooperative program with Damascus that included cooperation on
civil nuclear power. Broader access to Russian expertise could provide
opportunities for Syria to expand its indigenous capabilities, should
it decide to pursue nuclear weapons. We will continue to monitor
Syria's nuclear R&D program for any signs of weapons intent.
During the first half of 2001, Damascus continued work on establishing
a solid-propellant rocket motor development and production capability
with help from outside countries. Foreign equipment and assistance to
its liquid-propellant missile program-primarily from North Korean
entities, but also from firms in Russia-have been and will continue to
be essential for Syria's effort. Damascus also continued its efforts
to assemble-probably with considerable North Korean
assistance-liquid-fueled Scud C missiles.
Syria continues to acquire relatively small quantities of ACW --
mainly from Russia, other FSU suppliers, China and Iran. But Damascus'
outstanding debt to Russia and inability to fund large purchases have
hampered negotiations for the large quantity of equipment Syria needs
to revitalize its aging defense forces. Damascus is interested in
acquiring Russian SA-10 and SA-11 air defense systems, MiG-29 and
Su-27 fighters, and T-80 or T-90 main battle tanks, as well as
upgrades for the aircraft, armored weapons, and air defense systems
already in its inventory. Syria's Defense Minister met with high-level
Russian officials in Moscow in May 2001 to negotiate a new
military-technical cooperation agreement or arms contracts and address
the debt issue, but no new agreements have been completed
In the WMD arena, Sudan, a CWC States Party, has been developing the
capability to produce chemical weapons for many years. In this
pursuit, it historically has obtained help from entities in other
countries, principally Iraq. Sudan may be interested in a BW program
as well.
During the reporting period, Sudan sought to acquire a variety of
military equipment from various sources. Khartoum is seeking older,
less expensive ACW and conventional weapons that nonetheless are
advanced compared with the capabilities of the weapons possessed by
its opponents and their supporters in neighboring countries in the
long-running civil war. We remain concerned that Sudan may seek a
ballistic missile capability in the future.
India continues its nuclear weapons development program, for which its
underground nuclear tests in May 1998 were a significant milestone.
The acquisition of foreign equipment will benefit New Delhi in its
efforts to develop and produce more sophisticated nuclear weapons.
During this reporting period, India continued to obtain foreign
assistance for its civilian nuclear power program, primarily from
India continues to rely on foreign assistance for key missile
technologies, where it still lacks engineering or production
expertise. Entities in Russia and Western Europe remained the primary
conduits of missile-related and dual-use technology transfers during
the first half of 2001.
India also continues an across-the-board modernization of its armed
forces through ACW acquisitions, mostly from Russia, although many of
its key programs have been plagued by delays. New Delhi received the
first two MiG-21-93 fighter aircraft, and Hindustan Aeronautics
Limited will now begin the licensed upgrade of 123 more aircraft.
During the reporting period, New Delhi concluded an $800 million
contract with Russia for 310 T-90S main battle tanks, as well as a
smaller contract for KA-31 helicopters. India is in negotiations with
Russia for nuclear submarines and an aircraft carrier, and it also
continues to explore options for leasing or purchasing several AEW
systems. New Delhi also signed a $270 million contract with Israel for
the Barak-1 missile defense systems. The Indian air force has reopened
the competition for jet trainer aircraft and is considering bids from
the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
Chinese entities continued to provide significant assistance to
Pakistan's ballistic missile program during the reporting period. With
Chinese assistance, Pakistan is moving toward serial production of
solid-propellant SRBMs, such as the Shaheen-I and Haider-I. Pakistan
flight-tested the Shaheen-I in 1999 and plans to flight-test the
Haider-I in 2001. Successful development of the two-stage Shaheen-II
MRBM will require continued Chinese assistance or assistance from
other potential sources.
Pakistan continued to acquire nuclear-related and dual-use equipment
and materials from various sources-principally in Western Europe.
Islamabad has a well-developed nuclear weapons program, as evidenced
by its first nuclear weapons tests in late May 1998. Acquisition of
nuclear-related goods from foreign sources will remain important if
Pakistan chooses to develop more advanced nuclear weapons. China,
which has provided extensive support in the past to Islamabad's
nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, in May 1996 pledged
that it would not provide assistance to unsafeguarded nuclear
facilities in any state, including Pakistan. We cannot rule out,
however, some unspecified contacts between Chinese entities and
entities involved in Pakistan's nuclear weapons development.
Pakistan continues to rely on China and France for its ACW
requirements. Islamabad received delivery of upgraded Mirage IIIs from
France, and negotiated to purchase an additional 40 F-7 fighters from
During the first half of 2001, Egypt continued its long-standing
relationship with North Korea on ballistic missiles. Cairo continues
to maintain a deployed force of ScudBs and Cs. Egypt's ACW acquisition
is aimed at modernizing its Soviet-era equipment and acquiring newer,
mostly US weapons.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Terrorism[2]
The threat of terrorists using chemical, biological, radiological, and
nuclear (CBRN) materials appears to be rising-particularly since the
11 September attacks. Several of the 30 designated foreign terrorist
organizations and other non-state actors worldwide have expressed
interest in CBRN-although terrorists probably will continue to favor
proven conventional tactics such as bombings and shootings.
-- CBRN information and technology is more widely available,
especially from sources like the Internet and the former Soviet Union.
-- Increased publicity surrounding the anthrax incidents since the 11
September attacks has highlighted the vulnerability of civilian and
government targets to CBRN attacks.
-- Usama Bin Ladin and groups aligned with him have shown interest in
staging unconventional attacks and Bin Ladin has sought CBRN materials
and resources to further this goal. Bin Ladin and his organization
continue to make public statements about unconventional weapons, which
could be an attempt to justify the use of such weapons.
-- Since the early 1990s, Bin Ladin has pursued the development of
chemical and biological weapons within his organization as well as
demonstrating a longstanding interest in nuclear materials.
-- A senior Bin Ladin associate on trial in Egypt in 1999 claimed his
group had chemical and biological weapons. He also admitted that
various plans for terrorist acts were contained on a computer seized
by authorities.
Among CBRN materials, terrorist groups are most interested in
chemicals such as cyanide salts to contaminate food and water supplies
or to assassinate individuals. Terrorist groups also have expressed
interest in many other toxic industrial chemicals-most of which are
relatively easy to acquire and handle-and traditional chemical agents,
including chlorine and phosgene and some groups have discussed nerve
* We see lesser interest in biological materials that appears focused
on agents for use in small-scale poisonings or assassinations.
* Although the potential devastation from nuclear terrorism is high,
we have no credible reporting on terrorists successfully acquiring
nuclear weapons or sufficient material to make them. Gaps in our
reporting, however, make this an issue of ongoing concern.
In 1988, Osama Bin Ladin stated that he considered acquiring weapons
of mass destruction a "religious duty", and recent press reports claim
that Bin Ladin has nuclear weapons to use as a deterrent against the
United States. A government witness-Jamal Ahmad Fadl-- in the trial of
four men recently convicted of supporting the al Qa'ida bombings of
the American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya testified last February
that al Qa'ida had been trying to acquire fissile material since the
early 1990s. More recently, we have uncovered rudimentary diagrams of
nuclear weapons inside a suspected al Qa'ida safehouse in Kabul. These
diagrams, while crude, describe essential components-uranium and high
explosives-common to nuclear weapons.
Key Suppliers:
Despite improvements in Russia's economy, the state-run defense,
biotechnology, and nuclear industries remain strapped for funds, even
as Moscow looks to them for badly needed foreign exchange through
exports. We remain very concerned about the proliferation implications
of such sales in several areas. Monitoring Russian proliferation
behavior, therefore, will remain a very high priority.
Russian entities during the reporting period continued to supply a
variety of ballistic missile-related goods and technical know-how to
countries such as Iran, India, China, and Libya. Iran's earlier
success in gaining technology and materials from Russian entities has
helped to accelerate Iranian development of the Shahab-3 MRBM, and
continuing Russian assistance likely supports Iranian efforts to
develop new missiles and increase Tehran's self-sufficiency in missile
Russia also remained a key supplier for civilian nuclear programs in
Iran, primarily focused on the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant project.
With respect to Iran's nuclear infrastructure, Russian assistance
enhances Iran's ability to support a nuclear weapons development
effort, even though the ostensible purpose of most of this assistance
is for civilian applications. Despite Iran's NPT status, the United
States is convinced Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. The
Intelligence Community will be closely monitoring Tehran's nuclear
cooperation with Moscow for any direct assistance in support of a
nuclear weapons program.
In January 2000, Moscow approved a draft cooperative program with
Syria that included civil use of nuclear power. Broader access to
Russian scientists and Russia's large nuclear infrastructure could
provide opportunities to solicit fissile material production expertise
and other nuclear-related assistance if Syria decided to pursue
nuclear weapons. In addition, Russia supplied India with material for
its civilian nuclear program during this reporting period.
President Putin in May 2000 amended the presidential decree on nuclear
exports to allow the export in exceptional cases of nuclear materials,
technology, and equipment to countries that do not have full-scope
IAEA safeguards. The move could clear the way for expanding nuclear
exports to certain countries that do not have full-scope safeguards,
such as India.
During the first half of 2001, Russian entities remained a significant
source of dual-use biotechnology, chemicals, production technology,
and equipment for Iran. Russia's biological and chemical expertise
makes it an attractive target for Iranians seeking technical
information and training on BW and CW agent production processes.
Russia continues to be a major supplier of conventional arms.
Following Moscow's abrogation of the Gore-Chernomyrdin agreement in
November 2000, Russian officials stated that they see Iran to be a
significant source of potential revenue from arms sales, and believe
Tehran can become Russia's third largest conventional arms customer
after China and India. In early 2001, Russia was the primary source of
ACW for China, Iran, Libya, and Sudan, and one of the largest sources
for India.
Russia continues to be the main supplier of technology and equipment
to India and China's naval nuclear propulsion programs. In addition,
Russia has discussed leasing nuclear-powered attack submarines to
The Russian Government's commitment, willingness, and ability to curb
proliferation-related transfers remain uncertain. The export control
bureaucracy was reorganized again as part of President Putin's broader
government reorganization in May 2000. The Federal Service for
Currency and Export Controls (VEK) was abolished and its functions
assumed by a new department in the Ministry of Economic Development
and Trade. VEK was tasked with drafting the implementing decrees for
Russia's July 1999 export control law; by the end of the reporting
period, seven of these decrees had been approved, and four-including
two control lists-were still awaiting presidential signature. However,
the enacted legislation will have little impact on several of the
export control system's key shortfalls, including weak enforcement and
insufficient penalties for violations.
Export enforcement continues to need improvement. In February 2000,
Sergey Ivanov, then Secretary of Russia's Security Council, said that
during 1998-99 the government had obtained convictions for
unauthorized technology transfers in three cases. The Russian press
has reported on cases where advanced equipment is simply described as
something else in the export documentation and is exported.
Enterprises sometimes falsely declare goods to avoid government taxes.
North Korea
Throughout the first half of 2001, North Korea continued to export
significant ballistic missile-related equipment, components,
materials, and technical expertise to countries in the Middle East,
South Asia, and North Africa. P'yongyang attaches a high priority to
the development and sale of ballistic missiles, equipment, and related
technology. Exports of ballistic missiles and related technology are
one of the North's major sources of hard currency, which fuel
continued missile development and production.
During this reporting period, Beijing continued to take a very narrow
interpretation of its bilateral nonproliferation commitments with the
United States. In the case of missile-related transfers, Beijing has
on several occasions pledged not to sell Missile Technology Control
Regime (MTCR) Category I systems but has not recognized the regime's
key technology annex. China is not a member of the MTCR.
In November 2000, China committed not to assist, in any way, any
country in the development of ballistic missiles that could be used to
deliver nuclear weapons, and to enact at an early date a comprehensive
missile-related export control system.
During the reporting period, Chinese entities provided Pakistan with
missile-related technical assistance. Pakistan has been moving toward
domestic serial production of solid-propellant SRBMs with Chinese
help. Pakistan also needs continued Chinese assistance to support
development of the two-stage Shaheen-II MRBM. In addition, firms in
China have provided dual-use missile-related items, raw materials,
and/or assistance to several other countries of proliferation
concern-such as Iran, North Korea, and Libya.
In the nuclear area, China has made bilateral pledges to the United
States that go beyond its 1992 NPT commitment not to assist any
country in the acquisition or development of nuclear weapons. For
example, in May 1996 Beijing pledged that it would not provide
assistance to unsafeguarded nuclear facilities.
With respect to Pakistan, Chinese entities in the past provided
extensive support to unsafeguarded as well as safeguarded nuclear
facilities, which enhanced substantially Pakistan's nuclear weapons
capability. We cannot rule out some continued contacts between Chinese
entities and entities associated with Pakistan's nuclear weapons
program subsequent to Beijing's 1996 pledge and during this reporting
In October 1997, China gave the United States assurances regarding its
nuclear cooperation with Iran. China agreed to end cooperation with
Iran on supply of a uranium conversion facility and undertake no new
cooperation with Iran after completion of two existing projects-a
zero-power reactor and a zirconium production plant. The Chinese
appear to have lived up to their UCF pledge, but we are aware of some
interactions between Chinese and Iranian entities that have raised
questions about its "no new nuclear cooperation" pledge. According to
the State Department, the Administration is seeking to address these
questions with appropriate Chinese authorities.
Prior to the reporting period, Chinese firms had supplied dual-use
CW-related production equipment and technology to Iran. The US
sanctions imposed in May 1997 on seven Chinese entities for knowingly
and materially contributing to Iran's CW program remain in effect.
Evidence during the current reporting period shows Iran continues to
seek such assistance from Chinese entities.
China is a primary supplier of advanced conventional weapons to
Pakistan and Iran, among others. Beijing and Islamabad also have
negotiated the sale of an additional 40 F-7 fighters for delivery to
Western Countries
Western countries continue to be a less important source of WMD- and
missile-related goods and materials. Iran and Libya continued to
approach entities in Western Europe to provide needed acquisitions for
their WMD and missile programs. Increasingly rigorous end effective
export controls and cooperation among supplier countries have led the
other foreign WMD and missile programs to look elsewhere for many
controlled items. However, proliferators and associated networks
continue to seek machine tools, spare parts for dual-use equipment,
and widely available materials, scientific equipment, and specialty
metals. In addition, several Western countries announced their
willingness to negotiate ACW sales to Libya.
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction continues to change
in ways that make it more difficult to monitor and control, increasing
the risk of substantial surprise. Countries determined to maintain WMD
capabilities and the systems to deliver them are demonstrating greater
proficiency in the use of denial and deception efforts.
As in previous reports, proliferators have been placing significant
emphasis on increased self-sufficiency. In bolstering their domestic
production capabilities, and thereby reducing their dependence on
others, they are better able to insulate their programs against
interdiction and disruption. Although these indigenous capabilities
may not always be a good substitute for foreign imports-particularly
for more advanced technologies-in many cases they may prove to be
In addition, as their domestic capabilities grow, traditional
recipients of WMD and missile technology could emerge as new suppliers
of technology and expertise to other proliferators. We are
increasingly concerned about the growth of "secondary proliferation"
from maturing state-sponsored programs, such as those in India, Iran,
North Korea, and Pakistan. These countries and others are not members
of supplier groups such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Australia
Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime and do not adhere to
their export constraints. In addition, private companies, scientists,
and engineers from countries such as Russia, China, and India may be
increasing their involvement in WMD- and missile-related assistance,
taking advantage of weak or unenforceable national export controls and
the growing availability of technology.
Some countries of proliferation concern are continuing efforts to
develop indigenous designs for advanced conventional weapons and
expand production capabilities, although most of these programs
usually rely heavily on foreign technical assistance. Many of these
countries-unable to obtain newer or more advanced arms-are pursuing
upgrade programs for existing inventories.
[1] See page 15 below for a further discussion of possible interaction
between Chinese and Iranian entities with regard to the UCF.
[2] Although the information contained in this section falls outside
the parameters of the current reporting period, the September 11, 2001
attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and subsequent fears
about possible terrorist use of a chemical or biological agent against
the United States or its allies prompted us to include a section on
non-state actors.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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