STATEMENT BY DIRECTOR, DCI NONPROLIFERATION CENTER JOHN A. LAUDER ON RUSSIAN PR

Created: 10/5/2000

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Statement by Director,n proliferation Center John A. Lauder on Russian Proliferation to Iran's Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missile Programs to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, As Prepared for Delivery0

Thank you Mr. Chairman for inviting me to testify on this important topic. Iran has ambitious development programs for missiles and Weapons of Mass Destruction. It is seeking technologies related to missiles, as well as technology related to nuclear chemical, sod biological weapons,umber of foreign sources. The development of these weapons in Iran, and the extent to which foreign assistance is advancing Iranian weapons programs are among our toughest intelligence challenges and among our highest priorities.

Mr. Chairman, in my testimonyillummary of Russian assistance to Iran's weapons of mass destruction programs and its ballistic missile delivery systems. The Iranians regard thesend assistance tos among their highest state secrets and go to great lengths to hide them from us.esult, our knowledge of these programs is based on extremely sensitive sources and niethods. This precludes me from providing many details in open session.ope this summary will be of use to the Committee, and we will continue to keep committee staff informed of additional details in classified briefings.

Nuclear

Mr. Chairman, I'd like to beginew comments on Russian aid to Iran's nuclear power and nuclear weapons program. The Intelligence Community judges that Iran is actively pursuing the acquisition of fissile material and the expertise and technology necessary to form the material into nuclear weapons. As part of this process, Iran is attempting to develop the capability to produce both plutonium and highly-enriched uranium.

As part of this effort, Iran is seekingated equipment, material, and technical expertiseariety of foreign sources, most notably in Russia. Tehran claims that it seeks foreign assistance to master nuclear technology for civilian research and nuclear energy programs. However, the expertise and technologylong with the contactsould, be used to advance Iran's nuclear weapons effort.

ork continues on the constructionegawatt nuclear power reactor at Bushehr that will be subject to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. This project will not directlyeapons effort, but it affords Iran broad access to Russia's nuclear industry.

Russian entities are interacting with Iranian nuclear research centerside variety of activities beyond the Bushehr project. Many of these projects have direct application to the production of weapons -grade fissile material.

The United States has levied trade restrictions against two RussianIKIET and Mendeleyevor providing nuclear assistance to Iran.

Chemical

Td like to touch briefly on Russian assistance to Iran's chemical warfare (CW) program. Iran launched its offensive CW program in then response to Baghdad's use of CW during tbe Iran-Iraq war. We believe the program remains active despite Tehran's decision to ratify the Chemical Weapons Conventionranarge and growing CW production capacity and already hasumber of CW agents, including nerve, blister, choking, and blood agents. We believe ittockpile of at least several hundred metric tons of weapon! zed and bulk agent.

Tehran's goals for its CW program for the past decade have been to expand its production capability and stockpile, reach self-sufficiency by acquiring the means to manufacture chemical production equipment and precursors, and diversify its CW arsenal by producing more sophisticated and lethal agents and munitions.

Numerous Russian entities have been providing Iran with dual-use industrial chemicals, equipment, and chemical production technology that could be diverted to Tehran's offensive CW program.

or example. Russian entities provided production technology, training, and expertise that Iran could use toore advanced and self sufficient CW infrastructure.

Biological

I'd like to now turn to Russian assistance to Iran's bio-technicalran's biological warfare (BW) program was initialed inuring the Iran-Iraq war. The program is in the late stages of research and development, but we believe Iran already holds some stocks of BW agents and weapons. Tehran probably has investigated both toxins and live organisms as BW agents, and for BW dissemination could use many of the same delivery systems-such as artillery and aerial bombs-that it has in its CW inventory.

Iran has the technical infrastructure toignificant BW program. It conducts top-notch legitimate biomedical research at various institutes, which we, suspect also provide support to the BW program.

Iran is seeking expertise and technology from Russia mat could advance Tehran's biological warfare effort. Russia has several govemment-tc-govemment agreements with Iranariety of scientific and technical fields.

of the dual-use nature of much of this technology, Tehran can exploit these agreements to procure equiprnent and expertise that could be diverted to its BW effort.

BW program could make rapid and significant advances if it has -unfetteredaccess lo BW expertise resident in Russia.

Missile

I will now discuss Russian aid to Iran's ballistic missile programs. Iran's ballistic missile programs, is, one of the largest in the Middle East. Tehran already has deployed hundreds of short-rangecovering most of Iraq and many strategic targets in the Persian Gulf. It will soon deployra-rangeedium-range ballistic nussile,.which wilLallow.lran to reach Israel and most of Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Tehran probablymall number ofvailable for useonflict; it has announced uiai.production and deployment has begun, and it publicly. displayed threelongobile launcher and other ground support equipment

Iran's public statements indicate that it plans to develop longer range delivery systems. Although Tehran stated that thes Iran's last military missile, we arc concerned that Iran will use future systemsilitary role.

Defense Minister announced the development of theriginally callingore capable ballistic missile than theut later categorizing itpace launch vehicle with no military applications.

Tehran has also mentioned planstrongly suggesting that it intends to develop even longer range ballistic missiles in the near future.

hasock-up satellite and space launch vehicleuggesting it plans to develop an SLV to deliver Iranian satellites to orbit. However, Iran could convert an SLVallistic missile byeentry vehicle.

In.this context*cooperation between Tehran and Russian aerospace entities hasatter, of proliferation concern since the, Iran is acquiring Russian technology which could significantly accelerate the pace of its ballistic missile development program.

Assistance by Russian entities has helped Iran save years in its development of thehich was flight-tested8 and twice again this year.

Russian assistance also isrucial role in Iran's ability to develop more sophisticated and longer-range missiles.

Russian entities have helped the Iranian missile effort in areas such as training, testing, and components- These entities vary in size andide range of specialties. The scope of assistance is illustrated by the variety of organizations that have been subjects of US trade restrictions.

Such restrictions have been levied against Russia's government-owned space-technology marketing agency Glavkosmos, the aerospace materials research institute NIIGrafit, the guidance technology developer Polyus, and several smaller and less prominent entitles.

Further, trade actions have been imposed against twoentities, the.Moscow Aviation Institute and theTechnical

Russian Oversight

Finally, Fd like to turn to the issue of Russian efforts to curb the transfers of WMD and missile technology to Iran. Beginning inhe Russian Governmentrn berof steps to increase its oversight of entities involved in dealings with Iran and other states of proliferation concern.tew export control law intended to strengthen restrictions on the export of weapons of mass destruction, missile systems, and related technologies.

However, the government's weak enforcement of export control kgUtation has facilitated some Russian companies' efforts to circumvent export controls in the interest of financial gains.

Mr. Crnurman, that concludes my preparedill attempt to answer the Committee's questions within the constraints imposed on us by the need lo protect sensitive sources and methods. We would be delighted to present ther committeeore detailed assessment of Russian assistance to Iran's WMD and ballistic missile programslosed setting.

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