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Cablegate: Demarche On Impending Conventional Arms Transfer and Interim Follow Up On Ongoing Issues of Proliferation Concern

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #9388 3260011
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 220000Z NOV 07
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE 0000

S E C R E T STATE 159388

SIPDIS SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2032

TAGS: PARM PREL UNGA

SUBJECT: DEMARCHE ON IMPENDING CONVENTIONAL ARMS TRANSFER AND INTERIM FOLLOW UP ON ONGOING ISSUES OF PROLIFERATION CONCERN REF: A. STATE 109649 B. BEIJING5237 C. STATE 071143 D. STATE 073601 E. STATE 72896 F. BEIJING 6361 G. STATE 148514 H. BEIJING 6848

Classified By: ISN Acting DAS Richard Stratford. Reasons: 1.4(b) & (d).

1. (S) ACTION REQUEST: In September during their meeting at the APEC summit in Sydney Australia, President Bush discussed with Chinese President Hu U.S. concerns over conventional arms shipments by Chinese entities to Iran. We will be sending Embassy Beijing a follow-up demarche for the Ambassador to deliver at the highest level possible. In the meantime, Department requests the Embassy present this demarche on a specific conventional arms transfer case using the talking points in Para

6. NOTE THAT THESE POINTS ARE EXTREMELY TIME SENSITIVE AND THE IC PROVIDED POINTS MUST BE USED VERBATIM.

---------- OBJECTIVES ----------

2.(S/REL CHINA) Post should:

-- Press China to demonstrate its commitment on this issue by halting the impending shipment of suspected munitions on the Iranian-flagged M/V Matin to Iran.

-- Highlight Iran's failure to honor end-user agreements with respect to purchases of Chinese conventional arms and Iran,s policy of providing arms to Iraqi insurgents who are killing U.S. and Coalition troops.

-- Remind Chinese officials that President Bush has been personally engaged on the issue of Chinese conventional weapons sales to Iran.

-- Stress that the credibility of UN Security Council actions must be maintained by vigorous implementation by UN Member States of relevant resolutions.

-- Encourage the PRC not only to implement robustly all provisions of UNSC resolutions calling for Chapter VII sanctions, particularly 1737 and 1747, but also to avoid transfers occurring under the cover of claims of "legitimate" cooperation and "fulfilling old contracts".

-- Indicate that the United States believes that we can work together cooperatively and effectively on this important issue. -- Inform the Chinese that we will be following up with a more detailed demarche on the subject of conventional arms transfers to Iran.

--------------------------------------------- -- Background: Conventional Arms Transfers to Iran --------------------------------------------- --

3.(S/NF) Washington remains concerned about on-going conventional arms transfers from China to Iran, particularly given Iran's clear policy of providing arms and other support to Iraqi insurgents and terrorist groups like the Taliban and Hezbollah. China has long been a significant supplier of military equipment to Iran and we continue to see transfers of military items. We have specific information that Chinese weapons and components for weapons transferred to Iran are being used against U.S. and Coalition Forces in Iraq, which is a grave U.S. concern. PRC officials have told us that Chinese companies have been instructed to "wrap up" existing military contracts and avoid future sales, but some Chinese military equipment continues to flow to Tehran.

4.(S/NF) We have raised the issue of conventional arms transfers repeatedly this past year with Chinese officials, and President Bush discussed this issue with Chinese President Hu at the September APEC summit in Sydney.

5. (S/NF) We are particularly concerned about an impending shipment of military cargo to Iran, and see this as a litmus test of China's commitment. The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) Iranian-flagged M/V Iran Matin on Persian Japanese Line (PJL) voyage 1831 was in port at Tianjin, China, on 21 November 2007. This vessel was booked in October to load 83 20-foot containers of cargo, including cartridges, for Iran's Defense Industries Organization (DIO) for delivery to Bandar Abbas, Iran. The vessel was also booked in November to load one 40-foot container of unspecified cargo at Tianjin supplied by a Chinese firm that ships military cargoes to Iran via IRISL. After loading various bulk cargoes at Tianjin, the Iran Matin was scheduled to shift to the container terminal to load 91 20-foot containers and one 40-foot container. The Iran Matin is scheduled to depart Tianjin between 24 and 26 November and arrive back at Bandar Abbas on 14 December. Although we are not certain of the entire contents of this shipment, we are extremely concerned that any military equipment, such as ammunition, transferred to Tehran could be diverted by the Iranian regime to terrorists or other non-state actors in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere. Furthermore, the end-user for the goods, the Defense Industries Organization (DIO), is listed in the Annex to UN Security Council Resolution 1718.

--------------------------------------------- -
TALKING POINTS ON CONVENTIONAL ARMS TRANSFERS:
--------------------------------------------- -

6.(S/REL CHINA) BEGIN TALIKING POINTS:

-- We continue to stress the serious threat posed by conventional weapons transfers to Iran and urge that China take immediate steps to stop these transfers. -- We have repeatedly raised our concerns with senior levels of your government that military equipment provided to Iran is being retransferred by Iran to terrorists, insurgents, and other sub-state groups, where it is being used against U.S. and Coalition forces. These actions by Iran are a violation of UNSCR 1747 and other resolutions.

-- President Bush raised this issue with President Hu at the September APEC Summit.

-- The U.S. views very seriously the possibility that PRC-origin weapons of recent manufacture are still reaching insurgents in Iraq via Iran. We urge Chinese authorities to enforce rigorously their own end-user agreements with all parties to whom the PRC sells weapons and ammunition, or with whom it has a military supplier relationship.

BEGIN CLEARED IC TALKING POINTS THAT MUST BE USED VERBATIM:

-- The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) Iranian-flagged M/V Iran Matin on Persian Japanese Line (PJL) voyage 1831 was in port at Tianjin, China, on 21 November 2007.

-- This vessel was booked in October to load 83 20-foot containers of cargo, including cartridges, for Iran's Defense Industries Organization (DIO) for delivery to Bandar Abbas, Iran. The vessel was also booked in November to load one 40-foot container of unspecified cargo at Tianjin supplied by a Chinese firm that ships military cargoes to Iran via IRISL.

-- After loading various bulk cargoes at Tianjin, the Iran Matin was scheduled to shift to the container terminal to load 91 20-foot containers and one 40-foot container. The Iran Matin is scheduled to depart Tianjin between 24 and 26 November and arrive back at Bandar Abbas on 14 December.

-- Although we are not certain of the entire contents of this shipment, we are extremely concerned that any military equipment, such as ammunition, transferred to Tehran could be diverted by the Iranian regime to terrorists or other non-state actors in Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere. END IC

CLEARED TALKING POINTS TO BE USED VERBATIM.

-- Furthermore, the end-user for these goods, the Defense Industries Organization (DIO) is listed in the annex to UN Security Council Resolution 1737.

-- We urge that China take immediate steps to stop the transfer of Chinese-origin arms to Iran and to implement China,s UNSCR 1737 obligations. Immediate and effective action will demonstrate China,s commitment to continued improvement in our bilateral relations.

------------------------------
Reporting Requirement and POC
------------------------------

7.(U) Please report delivery of cable and any immediate response by November 23, 2007.

8.(U) Washington point-of-contact for follow-up information is XXXXXX XXXXXX. Please slug all responses for ISN, T, and EAP. Washington appreciates Post,s assistance.
RICE

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