US embassy cable - 96STATE237921

IRAN

Identifier: 96STATE237921
Wikileaks: View 96STATE237921 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Secretary of State
Created: 1996-11-17 04:47:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: PINR PREL KZ PTER KNNP
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
P R 170447Z NOV 96
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY ALMATY PRIORITY 
INFO AMEMBASSY BAKU 
AMEMBASSY YEREVAN 
AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 
AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 
AMEMBASSY BISHKEK 
S E C R E T STATE 237921 
 
ALMATY FOR AMBASSADOR JONES 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/13/06 
TAGS: PINR, PREL, KZ, PTER, KNNP 
SUBJECT: IRAN 
 
REF:   ALMATY 008329 
 
 
1.    (U)  CLASSIFIED BY INR TOM FINGAR, DAS/AN.   REASON 
1.5(C) (D). 
 
2.    (S)  AS REOUESTED BY AMEMBASSY ALMATY,  INR PROVIDES 
THE FOLLOWING BACKGROUND INFORMATION/TALKING POINTS ON 
IRAN TO BE SHARED WITH DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER GIZZATOV 
AND SENIOR KAZAK OFFICIALS.    WE HOPE THIS MATERIAL GIVES 
ENOUGH DETAIL TO MAKE CLEAR THAT U.S. CONCERNS REGARDING 
IRAN ARE WELL-FOUNDED.    THIS CABLE IS BEING SHARED WITH 
OTH~R POSTS IN THE REGION FOR GENERAL INTEREST AND 
INFORMATION.    THE FOLLOWING TEXT IS CLASSIFIED SECRET, 
RELEASABLE TO SENIOR HOST GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AS DEEMED 
APPROPRIATE. 
 
 
 ----------------------TEAR LINE------------------------- 
 
IRAN:   INTERNAL DEVELOPNENTS 
 
3.    (S)  ELECTIONS.  THE SECOND ROUND OF VOTING FOR THE 
FIFTH NAJLIS IN APRIL SAW THE DEFEAT OF PRESIDENT 
RAFSANJANI'S FACTION; THE CONSERVATIVES REASSERTED SOME 
MEASURE OF CONTROL OVER THE NAJLIS, ALTHOUGH BY A 
NARROWER MAJORITY, WITH NATEG-NURI RE-ELECTED AS SPEAKER. 
SUBSEQUENT SPECULATION ABOUT MODIFYING THE CONSTITUTION 
TO ALLOW RAFSANJANI TO RUN A THIRD TERM WAS EFFECTIVELY 
SUPPRESSED WITH SUPREME LEADER KHAMENEI'S PUBLIC 
PRONOUNCEMENT THAT ANOTHER SUITABLE POST WOULD BE FOUND 
FOR RAFSANJANI.   NATEQ-NURI, BENEFITTING FROM A RECENT 
RESURGENCE OF CLERICAL FORCES, HAS EMERGED AS THE 
PRESIDENTIAL FRONTRUNNER. 
 
--    THERE IS LITTLE TO SUGGEST THAT ANY MAJOR FACTION 
WITHIN THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT COULD BE CHARACTERIZED AS 
"MODERATE" WITH REGARD TO SUCH ISSUES AS TERRORISM, HUMAN 
RIGHTS, OPPOSITION TO THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS, OR 
PURSUIT OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. 
 
--    FOR THAT REASON, WE ARE SKEPTICAL THAT THE UPCOMING 
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION,  REGARDLESS OF VICTOR, WILL RESULT 
IN IRANIAN POLICIES THAT WOULD LEAD TOWARD RESPECT OF 
OTHER NATIONS.   INDEED, UNDER NATEQ-NURI, IRAN COULD 
REGRESS IN SOME AREAS. 
 
4.    (S)  HUMAN RIGHTS.  TEHRAN'S MANIPULATION OF THE 
ELECTION PROCESS TO ELIMINATE ROUGHLY 40 PERCENT OF 
PROSPECTIVE CANDIDATES TO THE NAJLIS SUSTAINED THE 
DISENFRANCHISEMENT OF SIGNIFICANT SEGMENTS OF THE VOTING 
POPULATION, AND MEDIA CENSORSHIP, HARASSMENT OF ACADEMIC 
FIGURES, AND PERSECUTION OF RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES-- 
PARTICULARLY BAHA'IS--ARE MATTERS OF PUBLIC RECORD.  LESS 
WELL-KNOWN ARE IRANIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES INCLUDING 
SUMMARY EXECUTIONS, TORTURE AND INHUMAN PUNISHMENTS, 
ARBITRARY ARRESTS, AND UNEXPLAINED DISAPPEARANCES.  THE 
UN SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAN HAS 
JUST ISSUED HIS REPORT; IRAN HAS ALREADY BEGUN A 
PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN TO DISCREDIT THAT REPORT AND ITS 
AUTHOR. 
 
EXTERNAL RELATIONS 
 
5.    (S)  DIPLOMACY CAMPAIGN.  TEHRAN RECENTLY HAS 
BLITZED THE ENTIRE REGION WITH WIDELY PUBLICIZED VISITS 
BY PROMINENT MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT,  IN PARTICULAR 
VICE PRESIDENT HABIBI, FOREIGN MINISTER VELAYATI, AND 
DEPUTY FOREIGN NINISTER VAEZI, TO EXTEND ITS INFLUENCE, 
CREATE OPENINGS, AND ENGENDER TIES WITH ITS NEIGHBORS BY 
PROMOTING CULTURAL EXCHANGES AND PROMISING ECONOMIC AND 
TRADE BENEFITS.   SIMILAR EFFORTS HAVE RANGED BEYOND THE 
REGION TO EUROPE, RUSSIA, AFRICA, LATIN AMERICA, AND THE 
FAR EAST AS IRAN TRIES TO PORTRAY ITSELF AS AN EMERGING 
WORLD POWER. 
 
--    IN OFFICIAL FRIDAY SERMONS AND SPEECHES BY ITS 
HIGHEST LEADERS, TEHRAN CONTINUALLY STRESSES THE 
CONVICTION THAT IRAN HOLDS MORAL TITLE TO SPIRITUAL 
LEADERSHIP IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD AND MUST SPREAD ITS 
VERSION OF ISLAMIC "REVOLUTION." 
 
6.    (S)  REGIONAL ENTANGLEMENTS.  TEHRAN CONTINUES TO 
INVOLVE ITSELF IN SEVERAL REGIONAL CONFLICTS.   IN 
NORTHERN IRAQ,  IRAN'S JULY CROSS-BORDER MILITARY 
EXPEDITION AGAINST THE KURDISH DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF IRAN 
(KDP-I) AND SUBSEQUENT HEAVY MILITARY SUPPORT OF ONE 
KURDISH FACTION GAVE BAGHDAD AN EXCUSE TO REENTER THE 
NORTH AND ONCE AGAIN THREATEN THE KURDS.   IN AFGHANISTAN, 
IRAN HAS PUBLICLY PROFESSED SUPPORT OF A PEACEFUL 
SOLUTION UNDER A BROAD-BASED GOVERNMENT AND THE UN 
SPECIAL MISSION, BUT HAS SECRETLY PROVIDED ARMS AND 
PROMOTED AN ANTI-TALEBAN COALITION.   IN TAJIKISTAN, 
TEHRAN CLAIMS THE ROLE OF PEACE BROKER WHILE SUPPORTING 
THE OPPOSITION.   IN THE GULF, IRAN HAS HELPED FOMENT 
GREATER UNREST, RECRUITING AND TRAINING DISSIDENTS. 
 
TERRORISM 
 
7.    (S)  TOOL OF STATECRAFT.  SINCE THE CLERICS CAME TO 
POWER,  IRAN AND ITS SURROGATES HAVE CONDUCTED 
KIDNAPPINGS, ASSASSINATIONS, AND BOMBINGS;  IRAN HAS ALSO 
PROVIDED CRITICAL TRAINING, FINANCING, AND ARMS TO GROUPS 
ENGAGED IN INDISCRIMINATE VIOLENCE FOR POLITICAL GOALS. 
THESE ACTIVITIES ARE NEITHER ABERRATIONS NOR EXCEPTIONS, 
BUT ARE CONDUCTED WITH FULL APPROVAL BY THE MOST SENIOR 
LEVELS OF THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT, WHO CONSIDER THEM TO BE 
LEGITIMATE TOOLS OF STATE POLICY.   THE NINISTRY OF 
INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY (NOIS) HAS PRIMARY 
RESPONSIBILITY FOR IRAN'S TERRORIST ACTIVITIES, WHILE THE 
NINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTIONARY 
GUARDS ALSO PLAY ROLES.   TERRORIST ACTIVITIES CONDUCTED 
OR SUPPORTED BY THESE AGENCIES ARE AUTHORIZED BY IRAN'S 
SUPREME COUNCIL FOR NATIONAL SECURITY, WHOSE MEMBERSHIP 
INCLUDES PRESIDENT RAFSANJANI, SUPREME LEADER KHAMENEI, 
NINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS VELAYATI, MINISTER OF 
INTELLIGENCE ALL FALLAHIAN, AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE 
YAZDI.   UNTIL THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY EXACTS A 
SUFFICIENTLY HIGH ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL PRICE, IRAN WILL 
HAVE NO REASON TO CHANGE THIS BEHAVIOR. 
 
8.    (S)  MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS.  THE MOST VIVID 
EXAMPLE OF IRANIAN-SPONSORED TERRORISM HAS BEEN AGAINST 
THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS.   IRAN'S SUPPORT OF GROUPS 
LIKE THE PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD (PIJ), LEBANESE 
HIZBALLAH, THE PFLP-GC, HAMAS, AND SMALLER GROUPS 
INCLUDES MONEY (EXCEEDING USDOLS 100 MILLION ANNUALLY), 
ARMS, TRAINING, AND COORDINATION.   THE CUMULATIVE EFFECT 
OF THE KILLINGS COMMITTED BY GROUPS SUPPORTED BY IRAN 
PLACES A SERIOUS BURDEN ON THE PEACE PROCESS. 
 
9.    (S)  THREATS TO STATE STABILITY.  IRAN IS A PATRON 
OF OTHER POLITICAL OPPOSITION GROUPS THAT EMPLOY 
VIOLENCE.   THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS SUPPORT IS TO UNDERMINE 
SECULAR GOVERNMENTS AND ENCOURAGE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF 
REGIMES THAT WOULD BE MORE AMENABLE TO IRANIAN AND 
POLITICIZED ISLAMIC INFLUENCE.   IRAN ALSO SEEKS TO GAIN A 
FOOTHOLD IN ISLAMIC MOVEMENTS ON SEVERAL CONTINENTS AND 
THEREBY FOSTER ITS IDEOLOGICAL LEADERSHIP.  MANY OF 
IRAN'S CONTACTS WITH OPPOSITION ORGANIZATIONS TAKE PLACE 
IN THE SUDAN, SYRIA, AND LEBANON, ALTHOUGH MEMBERS OF 
THESE GROUPS ALSO TRAVEL TO IRAN. 
 
--    EGYPT:  IRAN HAS BEEN ACCUSED OF PROVIDING SUPPORT 
TO AL-GAMA'AT AL-ISLAMIYAH, OR THE ISLAMIC GROUP, AND THE 
EGYPTIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD.   EGYPTIAN ISLAMIC MILITANTS HAVE 
BEEN REPORTED TO TRAVEL TO IRAN. 
 
--    ALGERIA:  IRAN HAS ALSO PROVIDED FUNDS TO THE 
ISLAMIC SALVATION FRONT (FIS) AND IS REPORTED TO HAVE 
SHIPPED ARMS TO THE FIS VIA SUDAN. 
 
--    TURKEY:  IRAN FINANCIALLY SUPPORTS A MILITANT 
ORGANIZATION SOMETIMES CALLED THE "ISLAMIC MOVEMENT," 
WHICH HAS TARGETED TURKISH SECULARISTS AND WESTERNERS. 
IRAN ALSO PROVIDES SAFE HAVEN TO THE TERRORIST KURDISTAN 
WORKERS' PARTY (PKK). 
 
--    TAJIKISTAN:  IRAN HAS PROVIDED TRAINING, FUNDING, 
AND SAFE HAVEN TO THE ISLAMIC REVIVAL MOVEMENT OF 
TAJIKISTAN (IRMT), NOW UNDER THE UNITED TAJIKISTAN 
OPPOSITION (UTO), DURING THE CIVIL WAR AND THE ONGOING 
INSURGENCY.   THE IRANIAN EMBASSY IN DUSHANBE HAS 
CONDUCTED ESPIONAGE AND RECRUITING ACTIVITIES. 
 
--    CENTRAL ASIA:  IRAN HAS SOUGHT TO EXPLOIT WEAKNESSES 
AND VULNERABILITIES IN TAJIKISTAN AND ELSEWHERE IN 
CENTRAL ASIA, SENDING RELIGIOUS PROSELYTIZERS AND FUNDING 
POLITICAL ISLAMIC GROUPS.   GETTING AT THE REGION'S 
URANIUM RESOURCES AND EXERTING INFLUENCE OVER ITS ENERGY 
SUPPLIES HAVE BEEN KEEN OBJECTIVES. 
 
10.   (S)  THREATS TO INTERNATIONAL LAW.  TEHRAN HAS LONG 
WAGED A VIOLENT STRUGGLE WITH SEVERAL IRANIAN OPPOSITION- 
GROUPS, CHIEF AMONG THEM THE NOJAHEDIN-E KHALQ (~ZK) AND 
THE KURDISH DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF IRAN (KDP-I).  THE 
GOVERNMENT HAS USED TERRORISM AGAINST THEM, AS WELL AS 
AGAINST NON-VIOLENT OPPOSITION GROUPS, AT HOME AND ABROAD 
WITHOUT REGARD FOR BORDERS OR JUDICIAL SYSTEMS. 
 
--    MOJAHEDIN-E KHALQ:  THE MEK IS A MILITARIZED 
ORGANIZATION WHOSE OPPOSITION TACTICS HAVE INCLUDED 
TERRORIST ATTACKS AGAINST IRAN.   IRAN HAS ASSASSINATED 
DOZENS OF NEK MEMBERS, AND BECAUSE IT IS BASED PARTLY IN 
IRAQ, MUCH IRANIAN RETALIATION HAS TAKEN PLACE IN IRAQ. 
 
--    KURDISH DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF IRAN:  THE KDP-I ENGAGES 
MOSTLY IN POLITICAL ACTIVITIES IN OPPOSITION TO THE 
TEHRAN REGIME, THOUGH IT HAS ALSO CLASHED WITH IRANIAN 
MILITARY UNITS.   IRAN HAS ASSASSINATED TWO KDP-I 
SECRETARIES-GENERAL.   IN 1994 ALONE, THREE MEMBERS OF THE 
GROUP WERE KILLED IN IRAQ, TURKEY, AND DENMARK, 
RESPECTIVELY, AND A FOURTH WAS WOUNDED IN SWEDEN BY A 
LETTER BOMB. 
 
--    IRANIAN PEOPLE'S FEDAYEEN (IPF):  IN SEPTEMBER 1995, 
ALI TAVASSOLI, A FORMER LEADER OF THE IPF, WAS KIDNAPPED 
IN BAKU, AZERBAIJAN BY ~OIS OFFICERS. 
 
--    NON-VIOLENT OPPOSITION FIGURES:  FORMER IRANIAN 
PRIME NINISTER BAKHTIAR AND AN AIDE WERE ASSASSINATED IN 
PARIS IN 1991.   A MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITION GROUP, "FLAG 
OF FREEDOM," WAS ASSASSINATED IN PARIS IN 1990.  FOUR 
DISSIDENTS WERE ASSASSINATED IN BERLIN IN 1992, AND REZA 
NAZLUMAN, AN OFFICIAL UNDER THE SHAH, WAS ASSASSINATED IN 
PARIS IN 1996.   GERMAN COURTS HAVE ISSUED AN ARREST 
WARRANT FOR NOIS CHIEF FALLAHIAN BASED ON EVIDENCE IN THE 
BERLIN TRIAL, AND GERMAN AUTHORITIES WERE SUFFICIENTLY 
CONVINCED BY FRENCH INFORMATION TO EXTRADITE AN IRANIAN 
TO PARIS TO STAND TRIAL IN THE NAZLUMAN KILLING. 
 
--    SALMAN RUSHDIE:  IRAN HAS REFUSED TO RESCIND ITS 
DEATH SENTENCE AGAINST INDIAN-BORN BRITISH AUTHOR SALMAN 
RUSHDIE.   THIS MONTH, RUSHDIE'S SCHEDULED RECEIPT OF A 
EUROPEAN LITERARY AWARD IN COPENHAGEN CAUSED SUCH A ROW 
OVER SECURITY PRECAUTIONS THAT IT ALMOST BROUGHT DOWN THE 
DANISH GOVERNMENT. 
 
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION PROGRAMS 
 
11.   (S)  IRAN IS MAKING A DETERMINED EFFORT TO DEVELOP 
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION (WND) AND TO ACQUIRE 
BALLISTIC MISSILES CAPABLE OF DELIVERING WP~D TO REGIONAL 
TARGETS. 
 
12.   (S)  IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM.  DESPITE ITS OUTWARD 
ADHERENCE TO THE NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY (NPT), 
IRAN IS ATTEMPTING SECRETLY TO DEVELOP A NUCLEAR WEAPONS 
CAPABILITY.   IRAN HAS DEDICATED CIVILIAN AND MILITARY 
ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE ATTEMPTING TO ACQUIRE AND DEVELOP 
NUCLEAR FACILITIES AND TECHNOLOGIES THAT ARE INCONSISTENT 
WITH A PURELY PEACEFUL NUCLEAR PROGRAM, BUT WHICH ARE 
CRITICAL FOR THE PRODUCTION OF FISSILE MATERIAL FOR 
NUCLEAR WEAPONS.   IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM IS HEAVILY 
DEPENDENT ON FOREIGN ASSISTANCE, BUT, TO DATE, MOST 
SUPPLIERS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF CHINA AND RUSSIA, HAVE 
REFUSED TO COOPERATE. 
 
13.   (S)  PLUTONIUM.  IRAN HAS ATTEMPTED TO ACQUIRE THE 
CAPABILITY TO PRODUCE BOTH PLUTONIUM AND HIGHLY ENRICHED 
URANIUM.   IN THE CASE OF PLUTONIUM, IRAN HAS BEEN TRYING 
FOR MANY YEARS TO PURCHASE NUCLEAR REACTORS THAT ARE 
OPTIMIZED FOR PRODUCING WEAPONS-GRADE PLUTONIUM AND NOT 
ELECTRICITY.   SPECIFICALLY, IT HAS TRIED--SO FAR 
UNSUCCESSFULLY--TO ACQUIRE A LARGE, HEAVY WATER- 
MODERATED, NATURAL-URANIUM-FUELED REACTOR AND ASSOCIATED 
FACILITIES.   THIS TYPE OF REACTOR HAS LITTLE USE IN 
IRATI'S CIVILIAN PROGRAM, WHICH HAS ALWAYS BEEN BASED ON 
LIGHT-WATER REACTORS. 
 
14.   (S) ENRICHED URANIUM.  IRAN HAS CONDUCTED RESEARCH 
ON AT LEAST THREE URANIUM ENRICHMENT TECHNOLOGIES--GAS 
CENTRIFUGE, GASEOUS DIFFUSION, AND LASER ISOTOPE 
SEPARATION.   IRANIAN PROCUREMENT EFFORTS SUGGEST IRAN IS 
GIVING THE GREATEST ATTENTION TO GAS CENTRIFUGE 
DEVELOPMENT AND IS ATTEMPTING COVERTLY TO PROCURE THE 
REQUIRED MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT. 
 
15.   (S)  INTERNATIONAL MONITORING.  IRAN HAS ATTEMPTED 
TO ALLAY INTERNATIONAL CONCERNS ABOUT ITS NUCLEAR PROGRAM 
BY INVITING THE IAEA TO VISIT ANY IAEA-DESIGNATED 
FACILITIES IN IRAN.   THE IAEA HAS MADE SPECIAL VISITS TO 
IRAN, BUT HAS NOT DISCOVERED ANY SIGNS OF A NUCLEAR 
WEAPONS PROGRAM.   THIS IS NOT SURPRISING SINCE IRAN'S 
PROGRAM HAS NOT PROGRESSED TO THE STAGE WHERE WEAPONS- 
RELATED FACILITIES ARE LIKELY TO HAVE BEEN CONSTRUCTED. 
 
--    WITH RESPECT TO THESE VISITS, THE IAEA HAS TAKEN 
CARE TO NOTE THAT IT CANNOT VOUCH FOR FACILITIES AND 
SITES NOT VISITED, NOR CAN IT PRECLUDE THE POSSIBILITY 
THAT THE SITES IT HAS VISITED COULD BE USED FOR OTHER 
ACTIVITIES IN THE FUTURE. 
 
16.   (S)  IRAN'S MISSILE PROGRAM.  IRAN'S BALLISTIC 
MISSILE PROGRAM DATES BACK TO THE EARLY 1980S AND HAS 
MADE STEADY PROGRESS.   WE BELIEVE IRANIAN LEADERS VIEW 
ITS MISSILE PROGRAM AS INDISPENSABLE IN PERMITTING IT TO 
THREATEN AND STRIKE A VARIETY OF TARGETS IN THE REGION. 
DURING THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR, TEHRAN DEMONSTRATED ITS 
WILLINGNESS TO USE BALLISTIC MISSILES AGAINST POPULATION 
CENTERS (AS DID IRAQ). 
 
--    IRAN HAS OVER 300 SCUD B AND SCUD C MISSILES, WITH 
RANGES OF 300 AND 500 KILOMETERS, RESPECTIVELY.   IRAN 
ALSO HAS ACQUIRED FROM CHINA MORE THAN 200 CSS-8 SURFACE- 
TO-SURFACE BALLISTIC MISSILES, WITH A RANGE OF 150 
KILOMETERS, WHICH ARE MORE ACCURATE THAN OTHER MISSILES 
IN IRAN'S INVENTORY. 
 
--    IRAN IS ASSEMBLING BOTH SCUD B AND SCUD C MISSILES 
FROM NORTH KOREAN-SUPPLIED PARTS, AND IT IS LIKELY TO 
ACHIEVE A FULLY INDIGENOUS PRODUCTION CAPABILITY SOON, IF 
IT HAS NOT ALREADY DONE SO. 
 
--    IRAN AND NORTH KOREA SIGNED A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR 
CONTRACT FOR THE 1,000 KILOMETER RANGE NO DONG MISSILE IN 
1993, THOUGH THAT CONTRACT WAS LATER SUSPENDED.   WITH THE 
NO DONG,  IRAN COULD TARGET MOST OF CENTRAL ASIA AND THE 
MIDDLE EAST, AND PARTS OF SOUTH ASIA AND EUROPE. 
 
--    IRAN HAS ALSO ATTEMPTED TO ACQUIRE MEDIUM-RANGE 
MISSILE TECHNOLOGY FROM THE FORMER SOVIET UNION AND WANTS 
TO DEVELOP ITS OWN MEDIUM-RANGE SYSTEM. 
 
17.   (S)  IRANIAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS.  IRAN'S OFFENSIVE 
CHEMICAL WARFARE (CW) PROGRAM BEGAN IN 1983 DURING THE 
IRAN-IRAQ WAR.   SINCE THE CW PROGRAM'S INCEPTION, IRAN 
PROBABLY HAS PRODUCED AS MUCH AS 2000 METRIC TONS OF 
BLISTER, BLOOD, AND CHOKING AGENTS. 
 
--    IRAN IS CURRENTLY PROCURING ITEMS AND TECHNOLOGY 
WHICH WILL ALLOW THE PRODUCTION OF HIGHLY LETHAL NERVE 
AGENTS. 
 
--    IRAN COULD DISSEMINATE THESE AGENTS VIA TRADITIONAL 
TACTICAL SYSTEMS (I.E. ARTILLERY, MORTARS AND ROCKETS), 
AS WELL AS AERIAL BOMBS OR POSSIBLY MISSILES. 
 
--    IRAN IS STRIVING TO BECOME SELF-SUFFICIENT IN BOTH 
CHEMICAL AND BIO-WARFARE PRODUCTION.   GREAT EFFORTS HAVE 
BEEN MADE TO ESTABLISH THE ABILITY TO PRODUCE MANY OF THE 
KEY PRECURSORS NEEDED TO ENSURE AN UNINTERRUPTED SUPPLY 
OF PRECURSORS.   NOT ONLY WOULD THIS ASSIST IRAN'S OWN CW 
PROGRAM, BUT WOULD ALSO ALLOW THE SALE OF THESE CHEMICAL 
PRECURSORS TO OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE REGION FOR 
DESPERATELY NEEDED HARD CURRENCY. 
 
18.   (S)  IRANIAN BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS.  IRAN'S BIOLOGICAL 
WARFARE (BW) PROGRAM ALSO BEGAN IN 1983.   SINCE THE LATE 
1980'S, MILITARY PROCUREMENT ENTITIES HAVE BEEN SEEKING 
DUAL-USE BIOLOGICAL PROCESS EQUIPMENT SUITABLE FOR R&D 
AND PRODUCTION OF BW AGENTS. 
 
--    WE BELIEVE IRAN IS CURRENTLY PRODUCING LAB-SCALE 
QUANTITIES OF SOME BW AGENTS. 
 
--    AN OFFICIAL IRANIAN DOCUMENT OBTAINED IN 1986 
INDICATED THAT TEHRAN HAD A LIMITED ABILITY TO EMPLOY BW. 
IN BATTLE SITUATIONS, THIS WOULD PROBABLY BE DONE WITH 
THE SAME DELIVERY METHODS USED BY THE IRANIAN CW PROGRAM. 
 
 
 
CHRISTOPHER 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04