Wikileaks: Intelligence of Interest to India
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By B Raman
Issue Net Edition | Date : 29 Nov , 2010

Wikileaks has claimed to have received from its source 251,287 documents, which are mainly diplomatic cables of a classification lower than “Top Secret” exchanged between the US State Department and its diplomatic missions abroad. It has given advance access to these documents to “The New York Times”, the “Guardian” of the UK, “Der Spiegel” of Germany, “Le Monde” of France and “El Pais” of Spain. They have already come out on November 28 with a summary of the significant points in the documents given to them.  

The summaries published by “The New York Times” and “the Guardian” have been reproduced by “The Hindu” of Chennai on November 29. These summaries do not contain any information or comments, which could embarrass India.  According to the media, 3038 of the cables in the possession of Wikileaks were exchanged between the US State Department and the US Embassy in New Delhi. These cables have not been uploaded by Wikileaks . In fact, it has uploaded only 220 of the 251,287cables so far. None of them was from the US Embassy in New Delhi.  

I had earlier extracted information of interest to India contained in the cables of January and February, 2010. Wikileaks does not appear to have received from its source or sources any cables from March, 2010 onwards.

Information of interest to India extracted from the cables uploaded by the Wikileaks, which relate to the period between 1966 and December, 2009, is extracted below:-

At the regular meeting of G-5 Ambassadors in Beijing May 8, French DCM Nicholas Chapuis reported that State Councilor Dai Bingguo told visiting former French President Chirac that the West would not gain from more sanctions on North Korea. Dai reportedly said that “the lever of economic development” had not been used effectively in Six-Party Talks and that a U.S.-DPRK dialogue was “the only way to make progress.” German Ambassador Michael Schaefer reported that Germany had informed China of the U.S. request to accept some Uighur detainees held at Guantanamo and had been subsequently warned by China of “a heavy burden on bilateral relations” if Germany were to accept any detainees. Japanese DCM Kunio Umeda reported that Premier Wen Jiabao was “tired and seemed under a lot of pressure” during his meeting with visiting Prime Minister Taro Aso, while President Hu Jintao was “relaxed and confident.” According to UK DCM Chris Wood, China had requested the UK not allow the Dalai Lama to transit London or meet with any government officials. Wood reported that local authorities in Gansu Province had detained a British Consul, reflecting the authorities’ angst over foreigners traveling to the Tibetan regions of the province. End Summary.  


French DCM Nicholas Chapuis hosted German Ambassador Dr. Michael Schaefer, Japanese DCM Kunio Umeda, UK DCM Chris Wood and Acting DCM May 8 for the regular gathering of Beijing-based G-5 Chiefs of Mission.  

Chirac’s Visit to China, DPRK, Africa

French DCM Nicholas Chapuis reported that President Hu had not mentioned Tibet in his meeting with visiting former French President Jacques Chirac. State Councilor Dai Bingguo had told Chirac that the West would not gain from more sanctions on North Korea and that a U.S.-DPRK dialogue was “the only way to make progress” in Six-Party Talks. Dai reportedly said that North Korea wanted to open up economically and that the “lever of economic development” had not been used effectively in Six-Party Talks. Dai suggested to Chirac that, given China and France’s “conflict of interests” in Africa, the two countries should have a dialogue on Africa.  

Germany and Guantanamo Uighurs 

German Ambassador Schaefer said the German State Secretary had informed China of the U.S. request to accept some Uighur detainees held at Guantanamo, noting that Germany had not made a decision regarding the Uighurs. He noted that no German state had yet agreed to accept the detainees. Ambassador Schaefer said China had not officially demarched Germany but had warned Germany that accepting any Uighur detainees would “put enormous pressure on Beijing and a heavy burden on bilateral relations.”  

Sino-Japanese Relations 

Japanese DCM Kunio Umeda reported that PM Taro Aso, who had visited Beijing April 29-30, had said Premier Wen Jiabao was “very tired and seemed under a lot of pressure” from dealing with the economic crisis, while President Hu Jintao had seemed “confident and relaxed.” PM Aso had requested China not implement its planned compulsory certification of IT products in China, while Premier Wen had insisted the law was consistent with China’s WTO commitments.   

Dalai Lama 

UK DCM Chris Wood reported that China had requested the UK not allow the Dalai Lama to transit London but softened the demarche by requesting that government officials not meet the Dalai Lama if he were to transit the country. French DCM Nicholas Chapuis said China’s demarche was part of a campaign to limit the Dalai Lama’s travel and noted that the Beijing city government had threatened to break its sister-city relationship with Paris if the Dalai Lama were to receive an honorary citizen award from the French capital. Ambassador Schaefer said Germany had not received such demands from the Chinese, in spite of the Dalai Lama’s frequent trips to Germany.  

Harassment of UK Embassy Staff in Gansu 

UK DCM Wood said UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband had recently visited Gansu Province and had been accompanied by a British journalist from “The Guardian.” According to Woodward, local Chinese authorities had briefly detained a British Consul to express displeasure with the accompanying journalist, who had stayed in Gansu without the authorities’ permission after Secretary Miliband had departed. “Local goons” had come to the traveling delegation’s hotel and threatened to follow a UK Embassy female staffer (but did not). In addition, a British “Financial Times” reporter in Sichuan had been harassed by local authorities who were apparently upset by the journalist’s interest in reporting on schools destroyed during the Sichuan earthquake.  

Climate Change 

UK DCM Wood said the UK Environment and Science Minister had recently had talks with Chinese officials on climate change. In the llead up to Copenhagen, China would not agree to targets on emissions but was willing to be constructive and would come to Copenhagen with a package of action items related to nuclear power, renewable energy and reforestation. Wood said his impression was that China could be induced to do more on climate change.  

Rule of Law 

Ambassador Schaefer reported that German Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries recently had visited China to attend a three-day rule of law dialogue on social security and pensions that was attended by 45 Chinese lawyers and judges. Schaefer said Germany and China would have another dialogue on a proposed law on regulating lawyers, noting that the Chinese Government was looking to give lawyers “more space” without giving up control.  


“Iran view from Baku” is the first in an occasional series from Embassy Baku Iran Watcher that will report on short and/or partially documented items of interest to Iran information consumers, but not necessarily warranting separate cables. This cable includes information on reported increasing security problems in Iranian Baluchistan, including alleged disruption of Iran-Pakistan railroad links; a message from a senior GOAJ military offical about the dangers of stirring up Iranian minorities; the apparent quadrupling in first quarter 2009 (compared to first quarter 2008) seizures in Azerbaijan of Iranian- transited heroin; and skepticism about Iranian gas export contracts, related by industry participants at the recently-completed Baku Oil and Gas show. End Summary. Baluchi Violence Obstructing Iran-Pakistan Rail Link?

Several Iranian contacts, including apolitical businessmen, have told Baku Iran watcher that the recent suicide bombing of a Sh’ia mosque, and subsequent attack on a campaign center in Zahedan, reflect a surge in Baluchi violence in the border area and inside Pakistan that has been building steadily over several years. According to one source, the Iranian security forces may be losing effective control over growing areas in the countryside. All noted that the rising violence in Iranian Baluchistan is mirrored and influenced by similar events on the Pakistani side of the border (recently described in ref(a)).

One alleged result is the apparent postponement of completion of the long-planned improved rail link between Pakistan and Iran, designed to run through or near Baluchi territory on both sides of the border. The current rail connection, running between Quetta, Pakistan and Zahedan, Iran is in poor condition and has low freight-carrying capacity. Moreover, according to reports it has recently been repeatedly subject to rocket attacks and other disruption by Baluchi tribes. An improved link also traversing Iranian and Pakistani Baluchi areas was originally supposed to have been inaugurated in March, 2009, with container train service beginning in August. According to Iranian sources in Baku, this deadline is unlikely to be achieved, and regular use of the Iran-Pakistan railway for significant cargo shipment is unlikely in the foreseeable future.

Quoted the Ministry source as saying that in 2008 Iran asked Pakistan to establish a new, “more secure and modern” route, but that Pakistan has so far refused. The source added that Tehran is rife with rumors about the increasing lack of safety in Baluchi areas, and claimed that many guard and police posts in Sistan-Baluchistan areas are no longer occupied at night due to the increased danger of attack.

Another source, blamed the Ahmadinejad administration for pursuing provocative anti-Sunni practices (including harassment of Sunni clergy and congregations and raids on Sunni mosques) and other “arrogant” crackdowns over the last few years. He claimed that these practices, combined with high unemployment, perceived discrimination, and few government services, has increased anger among Baluchis, and identification of the central government as an “enemy.” He cited the appointment of Ahmadinejad ally Habibullah Dehmordah as a Governor of Sistan-Baluchistan as a typical insensitive blunder, calling him a “stupid, brutal, Sunni-hater.” (Note: Dehmordah was replaced as Governor in 2008 by Ali-Mohammed Azad. End Note).

GOAJ Military Figure Opposes Promoting Unrest in Iran

At a 12 May meeting with a visiting group of 16 U.S. military general officers, the GOAJ’s Special Assistant to the President for Defense, General Vahid Aliyev, related that he had recently met in Iranian Azerbaijan with (unnamed) high-ranking &Iranian General.8 Although he did not provide details, Aliyev strongly implied that the Iranian General raised alleged “foreign-sponsored” efforts to foment unrest among Iranian ethnic groups, including Iranian Azerbaijanis (who make up nearly thirty percent of the Iranian population). Commenting on this issue, Aliyev asserted that “there have been four attempts by Iranian Azerbaijanis to assert autonomy in the last hundred years all of which were crushed” by the Iranian state. As an example, Aliyev cited the Soviet effort during World War II to establish a breakaway “Republic of South Azerbaijan.” The Soviets forces pulled back in 1946, after a “Truman-Stalin Agreement,” which Aliyev depicted as a cynical “betrayal” of collaborating Iranian Azerbaijanis. He recounted that the resulting repression by Tehran resulted in the deaths of 60,000 Azeris, and the flight of many more into Soviet Azerbaijan.

U.S. military participants agreed that Aliyev appeared to be implicitly signaling that outside fomenting of unrest in Iranian Azerbaijan is opposed by the GOAJ. Aliyev similarly told the U.S. officers that any foreign war with Iran will be bad for Azerbaijan, and result in a flood of refugees entering the country. (Note: The three other “failed Azerbaijani autonomy struggles” cited by Aliyev presumably refer to the early 20th century Constitutional Revolution, Azerbaijani resistance to Reza Shah’s centralization policies in the 1920’s, and efforts by senior Azerbaijani clerics and activists to obtain local autonomy in the wake of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. End note).

GOAJ Iran-Origin Heroin Seizures Continue Rise

According to export of narcotics from Iran into Azerbaijan continue to skyrocket (see ref b). According to statistics provided to Baku Iran watcher on June 3, 2009 by the UNODC-sponsored counter-narcotics “Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center” (CARICC) headquarters in Tashkent, Iran-origin heroin seizures (i.e., heroin derived from Afghani and Pakistani opium that entered Azerbaijan from Iran) in Azerbaijan nearly quadrupled during the first quarter of 2009, as compared to the first quarter of 2008. According to the GOAJ, virtually all of this heroin had been fully processed in labs and was “ready for market.” Total heroin seizures in Azerbaijan during the first quarter of 2008 reflected a sharp increase over the first quarter of 2007; while in 2006 only twenty kilograms of such heroin was officially reported seized in Azerbaijan during the entire year. In contrast, reported GOAJ seizures of Iran-origin heroin during the first quarter of 2009 amounted to nearly 59,000 kilos, as compared to approximately 15,000 kilos of heroin seized in the first quarter of 2008.


China is biding its time until the political crisis in Iran reaches a clearer resolution and the Ahmadinejad government consolidates power, and will signal its renewed engagement by sending a high-level delegation to Tehran once the political situation has been resolved, according to an MFA official. Our contact reaffirmed China’s commitment to the P5-plus-1 process and assessed that Iran is attempting to keep the door to negotiation with the United States open despite the turmoil surrounding the June election, but cautioned that a complete halt to uranium enrichment is an unattainable goal. China continues to urge Iran to respond positively to the P5-plus-1 offer for talks, and these entreaties have been passed directly to Supreme Leader Khamenei.

Iran reportedly requested to upgrade its relationship with Beijing to a “strategic partnership,” but China refused. A Communist Party official told us that the CCP is seeking to increase its relations with six major political parties and factions in Iran and deepen its understanding of U.S. policy in the Middle East. He repeated China’s standard position on the Iran nuclear issue and suggested that the U.S. offer economic incentives to persuade the Iranians to enter into talks on the nuclear issue. He dismissed concerns that negative perceptions in the Middle East of China after the July violence in Xinjiang province would affect China’s diplomacy with Iran.  

PolOff discussed Iran-China relations with MFA West Asian Affairs Department Iran Division Deputy Director Ni Ruchi August 31. In a separate meeting the same day, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee International Liaison Department (CCID) Third Bureau (West Asia and North Africa) Director Wu Baocai gave PolOff the Party’s perspective on Iran and the nuclear issue.  

Holding Back Bilaterally until Political Dust Settles 

MFA Iran Division Deputy Director Ni said that the  political turmoil in Iran had yet to settle and that China  was still waiting for the situation to calm further before  re-engaging fully in bilateral relations. He argued that the  internal divisions that had played out in the June  presidential elections had existed well before the violent  aftermath of the June election. China had been aware of the  potential for conflict among those divisions to spill into  the street and had taken a cautious approach before the  election. He said that the Chinese government understood  that the election was a strong indication of deep-seated  divisions within the Iranian government, but stressed that  the contested election had not fundamentally undermined the  current government and that China would continue with its  normal engagement with Tehran. 

China would signal its re-engagement, Ni reported,  with a high-level delegation to Tehran, but there was no  timetable for such a visit yet because the leadership in  Tehran was still fully focused on consolidating power. He  noted that during his mid-August visit to Iran, protestors  had continued to take to the selection. Ni reaffirmed China’s  commitment to the P5-plus-1 process, stressing that the U.S.  and China not only had common interests in Iran, but the  scope of this common interest was increasing.   

Iran Keeping the Door Open? 

Ni said that China had taken note of efforts by the  Iranian government to keep a path open to direct negotiations  despite the ongoing political turmoil. He claimed that  Tehran had refrained from overplaying its accusations of the  U.S. role in the election turmoil, preferring to point the  finger at European countries, indicating that the Iranian  leadership was interested in maintaining the possibility of  direct talks. Ni said that the election had caused the  Iranian leadership to reexamine seriously its foreign policy,  particularly on the nuclear issue, adding that Iran’s nuclear  development had suffered technical setbacks recently, which  had also forced the leadership to consider how to move  forward.   

China Lobbying but Total Halt to Enrichment Unattainable 

Ni reported that China continued to urge Iran at every  level of their engagement to respond positively to the  P53-plus-1 offer of direct talks and cease uranium enrichment  activities. He said that Chinese leaders had pointed out to  their Iranian counterparts on many occasions that the United  States had shown “restraint” in its public comments during  the June election aftermath, and that Iran was missing an  important opportunity by refusing to respond to the P5-plus-1  offer. Ni said that China’s message encouraging greater  engagement had been passed directly to Supreme Leader  Khamenei. He cautioned that Tehran would not be able to  respond positively to P5-plus-1 overtures until it had  reinforced its position at home, and that a “100-percent”  halt to uranium enrichment had become an unattainable goal.  Ni said that China continued to believe that fresh sanctions  would be ineffective in persuading Iran to cease enrichment  activities and would be counter-productive by increasing the  unity of the various factions in Iran behind the nuclear  program and the current government. Ni argued that the  regime in Iran would emerge from the crisis in a weakened  position and thus more likely to negotiate with the P5-plus-1  on the nuclear issue.   

Iran Seeks “Strategic Partnership” with an Unwilling PRC 

Ni said that Iran had requested that Beijing upgrade  its relationship with Tehran, presumably to counter Western  pressure, by lobbying Beijing to label its relationship with  Iran a “strategic partnership” as it does for Russia and  other countries. Ni said that China had so far refused to do  so and Iran was frustrated with China’s continuing insistence  that the two countries shared merely “normal” relations. 

Party Seeks to Increase its Interaction with Iran 

CCP Central Committee International Liaison Department  (CCID) Third Bureau (West Asia and North Africa) Director Wu  Baocai told PolOff August 31 that the CCP was seeking to  increase its relations with six major political parties and  factions in Iran. He noted that links between the CCP and  Iranian political parties had lagged behind the growth in  relations between executive branches and far behind the  increase in economic links. He said that deepening  understanding among the CCP leadership of the U.S.  position  on Iran was another emerging priority for his office and that  he was open to continued exchanges with the U.S. on the  nuclear issue.   

CCP Perspective on Iran Nuclear Program 

Wu said that CCP officials were increasingly concerned  through 2008 at the possibility of the United States taking  military action against Iran’s nuclear program but assessed  that such a possibility was much lower in 2009. He noted  that sanctions had not only failed to change Iranian behavior  and create meaningful effects in Iran but were negatively  affecting the countries joining in the international effort  to persuade Iran to stop its nuclear activities, citing as an  example constraints placed on Chinese banks from doing  business with Iran. He said that he believed the  international community was unlikely to be able to persuade  Iran to fully abandon its enrichment activities and suggested  the U.S. offer modest economic benefits as an incentive to  persuade Iran to enter into dialogue. Wu reiterated China’s  strong opposition to Iran using its nuclear technology to  develop nuclear weapons but stressed the right of all  countries to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. 


In the interest of transparency and enhanced cooperation  on nonproliferation matters, we would like to share the  following information:  

  • We have information that the French firm Sofradir and its  subsidiary Ulis continue to sell both cooled and uncooled  infrared detectors to China’s Zhejiang Dali Technology  Company Ltd for incorporation into thermal imaging systems.   – Our information indicates the Chinese firm is actively  selling its thermal imaging systems to Iranian defense  entities. 
  • Iranian military access to Chinese thermal imaging systems  that rely on high-grade French infrared detectors could  increase the threat to US and allied forces operating in the  Gulf region. 
  • Infrared detectors (IRD) are sensors and critical  components of high performance thermal imaging systems. IRDs  are controlled under Wassenaar Arrangement, Section 6.A.2.a.3.  
  • IRDs are used in the core assemblies for advanced  targeting pods, long-range reconnaissance systems, gimbaled  imaging systems in manned and unmanned airborne  reconnaissance and combat aircraft, Forward Looking Infrared  (FLIR) sensors, tank targeting systems, submarine periscopes,  and missile seekers.  
  • Diversion of the subject components could be harmful to  our shared national security interests. If these IRDs were  included in the optical targeting mechanism for tanks and air  defense systems, they could potentially be used to degrade US  superiority in night combat operations. 
  • We ask that you carefully consider the consequences of  such sales.  
  • We also welcome any further information about this case  that may come to light in the course of any French  investigation into the matter.    


In an August 17 meeting, Israeli Mossad Chief Meir  Dagan thanked Under Secretary Burns for America’s support of  Israel as evidenced by the previous day’s signing of an MOU  that provides Israel with USD 30 billion in security  assistance from 2008-2018. Dagan provided his assessment of  the Middle East region, Pakistan and Turkey, 


On Pakistan, Dagan said that President Musharraf is  losing control, and that some of his coalition partners could  threaten him in the future. The key question, Dagan said, is  whether Musharraf retains his commander-in-chief role in  addition to his role as president. If not, he will have  problems. Dagan observed that there has been an increase in  the number of attempts on Musharraf’s life, and wondered  whether he will survive the next few years. Under Secretary  Burns replied that South Asia has assumed vital importance in  American foreign policy since September 11. The U.S. is  committed to denying Afghanistan as a safe-haven for Taliban  and Al-Qaeda activity. The USG will continue to support  Pakistani President Musharraf, and is seeking to boost his  military defensive capabilities. At the same time, the U.S.  is encouraging Pakistan and Afghanistan to work with each  other militarily. Turning to India, Under Secretary Burns  noted that U.S.-Indian economic cooperation is growing, and  that the USG is working effectively to reduce tensions  between India and Pakistan.   

Response to Presidential Level Discussions

(S/REL CHINA) Post should: 

  • (This point for November 3 Delivery) Request China to stop an  imminent shipment to Iran’s ballistic missile program. This is the  same cargo that the Ambassador shared about on October 25 (ref E). It  is now scheduled to leave Beijing airport on November 4. 
  • (This point for November 3 Delivery) Note the importance of this  demarche since it relates to a topic discussed by Presidents Bush and  Hu in Sydney. Embassy should further note that the Embassy will be  seeking an appointment at the highest level possible to convey a more  extensive presentation on this topic of ballistic missile parts from  North Korea to Iran. 
  • Remind Chinese officials that President Bush has been personally  engaged on the issue of the transshipment of ballistic missile parts  between North Korea and Iran via Beijing and that he raised this issue  with President Hu at the APEC Summit. 
  • Seek information on the steps China has taken since the APEC  discussion to address this issue and impress on them the necessity for  China to take immediate strong action. 
  • Stress that the credibility of UN Security Council actions must be  maintained by vigorous implementation by UN Member States of UNSC  resolutions calling for Chapter VII sanctions, particularly 1718,  1737, and 1747. 
  • Indicate that the U.S. believes that the proliferation of missile  technology between North Korea and Iran will increase and that these  two countries will attempt to conduct these trantransfers through Chinese  territory. 
  • Emphasize the need to inspect cargo and personal goods on regularly  scheduled flights transiting Beijing from North Korea to Iran in order  to detect and deter these shipments. 
  • Explain to Chinese officials that the U.S. carefully reviews the  intelligence material that we have on shipments before we share it,  and we ask that Chinese authorities respect this and act on our  information accordingly and appropriately. 
  • Indicate that the United States believes that we can work together  cooperatively and effectively on these issues.  
  • Express our willingness to continue to share as much information as  possible to assist China’s efforts to uphold these UN Security Council  resolutions. 

Background: Ballistic Missile Parts Shipped via Beijing Between North  Korea and Iran

(S/Rel China) Iran and North Korea have continued their  longstanding cooperation on ballistic missile technology, via air-  shipments of ballistic-missile related items. We assess that some of  these shipments consist of ballistic missile jet vanes that frequently  transit Beijing on regularly scheduled flights on Air Koryo and Iran  Air. We believe that the Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group (SBIG) is  the probable end user for these parts. SBIG is listed in the annex to  UNSCR 1737 and these jet vanes are controlled under Item 10.A.2 of the  Missile Technology Control Regime and Item 6 of China’s missile-  related export control regulations. Moreover, UNSCRs 1718 and 1737  prohibit the transfer to or from North Korea or Iran, respectively, of  jet vanes and any other item listed in UNSC document S/2006/815.  These shipments therefore represent violations of UNSCRs 1718 and  1737.   

(S/Rel China) The U.S. has raised this issue with China at the  highest levels several times in the last few months. In May 2007, the  United States informed China of imminent shipments on three separate  occasions (Refs A,B and C). Though Chinese officials informed Embassy  Beijing that China’s investigations have found no evidence of these  transfers, it appears that these shipments did occur and are  continuing to transit via Beijing. In addition this issue was raised  by ISN PDAS Patricia McNerney during bilateral nonproliferation talks  in August 2007 (Ref D). The Deputy Secretary also raised this issue  with Executive Vice Foreign Minister (EVFM) Dai Bingguo via during a  telephone conversation in August. Finally, in September 2007,  President Bush discussed this issue with Chinese President Hu at the  APEC summit in Sydney. The two leaders agreed that the USG would  provide the PRC with further information on these transfers.   

(S/Rel China) On October 25 the U.S. provided PRC officials with  detailed information, including the airway bill and flight number, of  another imminent shipment of military related goods from North Korea  to Iran via Beijing. This shipment was also assessed as destined for  Iran’s solid propellant missile development organization, the Shahid  Bagheri Industries Group (SBIG). We now have information that the  goods will be shipped on November 4 and insist on a substantive  response from China to this information.  

(S/Rel China) Our information indicates that at least 10 air  shipments of jet vanes have transited Beijing thus far and that these  shipments will not only continue but will also grow in volume. We  have encouraged the Chinese to undertake frequent inspections of cargo  on Air Koryo or Iran Air flights transiting Beijing from North Korea  to both deter and detect these shipments.  

(S/Rel China) The Department is seeking both immediate action on  this new information and a strategic approach with regards to this  critical issue. We assess that the best way to prevent these  shipments in the future is for Chinese authorities to take action,  such as those identified in para 9, that will make the Beijing airport  a less hospitable transfer point. 


(S/Rel China) Begin points:  

  • Last week we raised with you information regarding North Korean  plans to send a shipment, probably for Iran’s ballistic missile  program, to Iran. We believe the cargo is intended for Iran’s Shahid  Bagheri Industrial Group (SBIG), which is responsible for Iran’s  solid-propellant ballistic missile program. You had requested  additional information.  
  • We now have reason to believe that the items above will be shipped  to Iran via scheduled Iran Air flight on November 4.  
  • If these goods are missile-related, North Korea is prohibited under  UNSCR 1718 from exporting missile-related items and UN Member States  are prohibited from importing those items. In addition, North Korea  would potentially be precluded under UNSCR 1737 from transferring  these items to Iran if they are among the missile-related components  included in S/2006/815 or if North Korea or China determines that they  would contribute to the development of nuclear weapon delivery  systems. Moreover, SBIG is designated in United Nations Security  Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1737 and, as such, is subject to the  mandatory asset freeze called for in the resolution. With these  concerns in mind we are asking that Chinese authorities investigate  this shipment and prohibit it from proceeding to Iran. 


(S/REL CHINA) Begin Points:  

  • Over the past several months we have raised with Chinese officials  the problem of ballistic missile-related transfers between Iran and  North Korea being transshipped through China. President Bush raised  U.S. concerns on this matter with President Hu during the APEC summit  in Sydney, demonstrating the importance of the issue to the United  States. In response to President Hu’s request for additional details,  we are providing you further information regarding these activities.  Specifically, we are urgently providing information regarding an  imminent shipment of serious concern.  
  • North Korea is prohibited under UNSCR 1718 from exporting missile-  related items and UN Member States are prohibited from importing those  items. In addition, North Korea would potentially be precluded under  UNSCR 1737 from transferring these items to Iran if they are among the  missile-related components included in S/2006/815 or if North Korea or  China determines that they would contribute to the development of  nuclear weapon delivery systems. Moreover, SBIG is designated in  United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1737 and, as such,  is subject to the mandatory asset freeze called for in the resolution.  With these concerns in mind we are insisting that Chinese authorities  urgently investigate this shipment and prohibit it from proceeding to  Iran.  
  • We are very concerned that North Korean shipments of jet vanes occur  on regularly scheduled commercial air flights transiting through  Beijing. We believe this has been the case on about 10 flights.   –These items are likely intended for Iran’s solid propellant missile  development organization, the Shahid Bagheri Industries Group (SBIG).   
  • These cargo shipments probably include front companies.  
  • We have identified a large number of shipments beginning late last  year of what are probably ballistic missile-related items that have  transited Beijing, and we would like to share further information on  these shipments.   
  • 14 December 2006: A delegation from SBIG returned from Pyongyang  probably via Beijing and transported what we assess to be jet vanes  for a solid propellant medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) under  development in Iran.   
  • On or about 15 January 2007: North Korea delivered what were  probably jet vanes for Iran’s developmental solid propellant MRBM to  SBIG via Beijing on board regularly-scheduled commercial passenger  flights.  
  • On or around 23 January 2007: North Korea delivered what were  probably jet vanes for Iran’s developmental solid propellant MRBM to  SBIG via Beijing on board regularly-scheduled commercial passenger  flights.  
  • On or about 16 May 2007: An air shipment composed of four what were  probably jet vanes from North Korea to Iran for SBIG was scheduled to  depart North Korea and transit Beijing via regularly-scheduled  commercial passenger flights. 
  • On or about 24 May 2007: An air shipment composed of five what were  probably jet vanes from North Korea to Iran for SBIG was scheduled to  depart North Korea and transit Beijing via regularly-scheduled  commercial passenger flights.  
  • On or about 6 June 2007: An air shipment composed of four what were  probably jet vanes from North Korea to Iran for SBIG was scheduled to  depart North Korea and transit Beijing via regularly-scheduled  commercial passenger flights. 
  • On or about 12 June 2007: An air shipment composed of five what  were probably jet vanes from North Korea to Iran for SBIG was  scheduled to depart North Korea and transit Beijing via regularly-  scheduled commercial passenger flights. 
  • On or about 14 June 2007: An air shipment composed of three what  were probably jet vanes from North Korea to Iran for SBIG was  scheduled to depart North Korea and transit Beijing via regularly-  scheduled commercial passenger flights. 
  • On or about 14 July 2007: An air shipment composed of ten what were  probably jet vanes from North Korea to Iran for SBIG was scheduled to  depart North Korea and transit Beijing via regularly-scheduled  commercial passenger flights.  
  • On or about 26 July 2007: An air shipment possibly composed of an  unknown number of jet vanes from North Korea to Iran for SBIG was  scheduled to depart North Korea and transit Beijing via regularly-  scheduled commercial passenger flights.  
  • On or about 22 August: An air shipment possibly composed of one jet  vane from North Korea to Iran for SBIG was scheduled to depart North  Korea and transit Beijing via regularly-scheduled commercial passenger  flights.   
  • We believe that the number of jet vanes sent to Iran will increase  dramatically in the future.  
  • To date we believe that about 40 probable jet vanes have been sent  from North Korea to Iran.  
  • The contract for these components called for a total number of 500  and we assess that shipments of these may increase to a rate of 100-  160 per month.   
  • In addition, our information indicates that a second order of 1,500  components – possibly additional jet vanes – was agreed to in December  of last year.  
  • We believe that this trade will continue to utilize regularly-  scheduled commercial passenger flights.  
  • As we have discussed on several occasions, Iran also has been  seeking probable tungsten-copper alloy plates from China’s Dalian  Sunny Industries, also known as LIMMT. Dalian Sunny Industries  shipped part of an order for this material in September. These plates  are suitable for Iranian domestic production of jet vanes or as an  insulator for ballistic missile components. Iran could be seeking  these plates in case North Korea is unable to provide the quantity or  quality of jet vanes required.  
  • We urge you to prevent such shipments via whatever action you deem  appropriate, including frequent inspection of Iran Air and Air Koryo  flights. The use of regularly-scheduled commercial passenger flights  indicates that frequent regular inspections of Iran Air flights and  Air Koryo flights are in order and would help deter these shipments in  the future.  
  • We will continue to provide you with relevant information to help  end this proliferation.   


Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed,s weekly  Sunday “VIP Majlis” provided an excellent opportunity for a  visiting National Defense University delegation to observe  first-hand the UAEG,s informal consultative process. MbZ,  brothers MinState Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamdan and Interior  Minister Sheikh Saif, and Labor Minister al Ka’abi were  joined by several dozen prominent Abu Dhabi officials and  businessmen for the weekly gathering at Bateen Palace.


Ambassador asked about MbZ’s visit the week before to  Lahore to meet with Pakistani President Musharraf. MbZ  chuckled and asked why the USG “always” convinced the  Pakistanis to delay news of the capture of senior Al Qaeda  operatives such as Abu Faraj al Libbi. MbZ went on to  congratulate Washington for its decision to allow U.S. firms  to bid for contracts to provide F-16s and other defense  technology to Pakistan. It was important to support  Musharraf as he battled the terrorists, he emphasized. While  the Indians had and would continue to balk at the decision,  the region needed Musharraf to stay strong. There was no  alternative leader in sight, MbZ opined. Besides, he  continued, the F-16 decision would not tip the military  balance between India and Pakistan. Even if it had, India’s  strength as a stable democracy would ensure that it would not  ever be in as “risky” a situation as its neighbor. MbZ then  slapped his knee and said “you,ll never guess what Musharraf  asked me…he asked me whether the UAE had received approval  for the Predator!” (Note: the USG’s inability to meet the  UAE’s request for an armed Predator remains a sore point for  MbZ, although he has not directly raised the issue with us  for some time.)    

Iran Relations Unaffected by Xinjiang Violence 

Wu dismissed concerns that dismay in Iran and other  parts of the Middle East over China’s treatment of ethnic  Uighurs in Xinjiang province would complicate China’s  diplomacy with Iran. While acknowledging that some  high-level religious leaders in Iran had been highly critical  of China in the wake of the July violence in Xinjiang, he  said that Beijing was seeking to counter the danger of China  becoming a target for anger in the Muslim world by  significantly increasing its media outreach in the Middle  East, citing the recent establishment of an Arabic-language  version of government-run CCTV.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

B Raman

Former, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai & Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat. He is the author of The Kaoboys of R&AW, A Terrorist State as a Frontline Ally,  INTELLIGENCE, PAST, PRESENT & FUTUREMumbai 26/11: A Day of Infamy and Terrorism: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

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