Cablegate: Following-Up with India On the Xxxxxxxxxxxx Graphite
P 071500Z MAR 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO PAGE 02 STATE 023763 071504Z
AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY
INFO MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
Friday, 07 March 2008, 15:00
S E C R E T STATE 023763
EO 12958 DECL: 03/07/2013
TAGS PARM, PREL, ETTC, MTCRE, KSCA, IN, IR
SUBJECT: FOLLOWING-UP WITH INDIA ON THE XXXXXXXXXXXX GRAPHITE
REF: A. 07 STATE 141892 B. 07 STATE 158831 C. 07 NEW DELHI 5058 D. 07 NEW DELHI 5107 E. 07 STATE 167377 F. 07 NEW DELHI 5333 G. LOWE E-MAIL (JAN 02 2008)
Classified By: ISN/MTR DIRECTOR PAM DURHAM FOR REASONS 1.4 (B), (D).
1. (U) This is an action request. Please see paragraph 6.
2. (S) Background: In October 2007, we shared with Indian officials information indicating that India’s XXXXXXXXXXXX had offered French-origin, MTCR-controlled graphite blocks to Iran’s Ward Commercial Company (Ref A). Ward had previously been involved in the procurement of items on behalf of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG - Iran’s primary liquid propellant ballistic missile developer).
3. (S) In November, we learned that XXXXXXXXXXXX was working to ship additional consignments of graphite to Ward, and that Indian officials were holding a shipment of potentially nuclear-grade graphite blocks in the Air Cargo Complex at the international airport in Mumbai (Ref B). We expressed our concerns to the GOI about the possible imminent release of this graphite for onward shipment to Iran, and also advised Indian officials that XXXXXXXXXXXX was readying follow-on shipments of graphite for Ward. In response to our concerns, Indian officials told us that they had begun an investigation of this matter, and that the shipment would not go forward until their investigation was complete (Refs C & D).
4. (S) In December, we shared with the GOI information indicating that four to five tons of graphite being readied at a XXXXXXXXXXXX warehouse for shipment to Ward had been moved from that location (Ref E). This graphite - like the shipment at the Mumbai airport - had been placed on hold by Indian authorities, preventing its onward shipment. We had no information on the date of the graphite’s removal or its location, but believed that it could still be in the country, awaiting shipment to Iran from another location in India. Indian authorities advised us that they had not cleared the graphite shipment for export because its investigation was not yet complete, and that they were working to locate the missing graphite (Ref F). As of early January, the GOI informed us that none of the graphite had shipped, and that India was taking unspecified action on the case (Ref G).
5. (S) Objectives: We now want to follow-up with Indian officials on this case, and request information concerning the status or whereabouts of the graphite ) both that which was detained at the Airport as well as the graphite that was removed from XXXXXXXXXXXX’s warehouse. We also want to share with Indian officials new information identifying the intended end-user of the graphite as the Sahand Aluminum Parts Industrial Company (SAPICO), a cover for Iran’s primary liquid- fueled ballistic missile producer, and to advise the GOI that Ward’s efforts to procure this graphite for SAPICO continues.
6. (U) Action Request: Department requests Embassy New Delhi approach appropriate host government officials to deliver the talking points in Paragraph 7 and report response. Talking points may be left as a non-paper.
7. (S) Begin talking points/non-paper:
(SECRET REL INDIA)
-- We would like to follow-up on a matter of potential proliferation concern we discussed with you previously.
-- In October 2007, we shared information with you indicating that the Indian company XXXXXXXXXXXX offered to provide 255 blocks of French-origin high density graphite to Iran’s Ward Commercial Company.
-- We alerted you to this activity because we believed Ward Commercial Company may have been seeking this graphite on behalf of Iran’s missile program.
-- Ward Commercial Company has previously worked to procure items on behalf of Iran’s liquid-fueled ballistic missile developer, the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), an entity designated in UN Security Council Resolution 1737.
-- On November 20, we expressed our concerns that XXXXXXXXXXXX was working to ship additional consignments of graphite to Ward, and that we were aware that Indian officials were holding a shipment of potentially nuclear-grade graphite blocks in the Mumbai Air Cargo Complex near the international terminal.
-- We also advised you that XXXXXXXXXXXX was likely readying additional graphite shipments to Iran.
-- We were pleased to hear on November 21 that your government had prevented the onward shipment to Iran of the graphite being held at the Mumbai Air Cargo Complex Terminal, and that you were investigating this matter.
-- In December 2007, we informed you that four to five tons of graphite being readied for shipment to Ward had been removed from XXXXXXXXXXXX’s warehouse, and that its current location and disposition were unknown.
-- You subsequently informed us that your government had not cleared the graphite shipment for export because its investigation was not yet complete, and that you would work to locate the missile graphite.
-- In early January, India advised the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi that nothing had gone to the final destination, and that your government had taken unspecified action on the case.
-- We remain very concerned about this case, and would be interested in hearing any information you can provide regarding the status or whereabouts of the graphite ) including that which was detained at the Mumbai Airport as well as the graphite that went missing from XXXXXXXXXXXX’s warehouse.
-- We would appreciate any updates you can share with us concerning actions your government has taken to prevent the shipment of this graphite to Iran.
-- We also want to share with you new information identifying the intended end-user of the graphite as the Sahand Aluminum Parts Industrial Company (SAPICO), a cover name for SHIG.
-- We understand that as of late January 2008, Ward was continuing its efforts to procure this graphite from XXXXXXXXXXXX on behalf of SAPICO.
-- We hope this information is useful in your efforts to prevent this graphite from being shipped to Iran’s ballistic missile program, and would appreciate any information you can provide on this matter.
End talking points/non-paper.
9. (U) XXXXXXXXXXXX. RICE
End Cable Text