Cablegate: China Conventional Arms Transfers to Iran
O P 131528Z MAY 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE
INFO PAGE 02 STATE 050524 131535Z
AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY
S E C R E T STATE 050524
EO 12958 DECL: 05/05/2018
TAGS PARM, PREL
SUBJECT: CHINA CONVENTIONAL ARMS TRANSFERS TO IRAN
REF: A. STATE 162318
B. STATE 109649
C. BEIJING 5237
D. STATE 071143
E. STATE 073601
F. BEIJING 5754
G. STATE 72896
H. BEIJING 5361
I. STATE 148514
J. BEIJING 6848
K. STATE 159388
L. BEIJING 7212 M. BEIJING 7387
Classified By: CLASSIFIED BY ISN ACTING DAS ELIOT KANG FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).
1. (U) This is an action request. Embassy Beijing, please see paragraph 2.
2. (S/NF) Post is requested to draw on the points in para 4 below and to provide photographs in a demarche to the Government of China (GOC) on the issue of transfers of advanced conventional weapons such as MANPADS to Iran. NOTE THAT THE POINTS FLAGGED AS PROVIDED BY THE IC MUST BE USED VERBATIM.
3. (S/NF) In April 2008, Coalition forces recovered from a cache in Basra, Iraq at least two Chinese-produced Iranian-supplied QW-1 MANPADS that we assess were provided by Iran to Iraqi Shia militants. The date of production for the recovered QW-1 systems is 2003, but it is not known when these particular launchers were transferred by China to Iran or when the launchers entered Iraq. We have demarched China repeatedly on its conventional arms transfers to Iran, urging Beijing to stop these transfers due to unacceptably high risk that such weapons would be diverted to militants and terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere. Beijing has typically responded by asserting that its sales are in accordance with international law, that it requires end-users to sign agreements pledging not to retransfer the weapons, or -- disingenuously in the judgment of USG technical experts -- that it cannot confirm that the weapons recovered by Coalition forces in Iraq are actually Chinese in origin. This latest recovery of Chinese-origin weapons in Iraq gives us yet another opportunity to present the Chinese government with concrete evidence that Iran is illicitly diverting Chinese-origin weapons and to urge Beijing to take concrete steps to halt future diversions and investigate past transfers to Tehran.
4. (S/REL CHINA) BEGIN TALKING POINTS:
TRANSFERS OF MANPADS TO IRAN
-- We have repeatedly raised with you our concerns regarding Iran,s retransfer of Chinese-produced weapons to extremists and terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere.
-- We understand that you have provided Iran with QW-1 MANPADS in the past, and Iran has publicly asserted that it produces the Misagh-1, which is based on the Chinese QW-1.
-- We previously raised with you the recovery in Iraq in 2004 of an Iranian-origin Misagh-1 MANPAD that had been fired at a civilian airliner.
-- We have recently acquired additional information about Iranian diversions of Chinese-origin MANPADS that we would like to share with you.
BEGIN IC POINTS THAT MUST BE USED VERBATIM:
-- Coalition forces recovered at least two Chinese QW-1 MANPADS missiles from a militant cache in Basra, Iraq in April 2008. The missiles had 2003 production markings, had not been fired, and were still intact in their launch tubes.
-- We assess that these missiles were provided to Iraqi Shia militants by Iran.
END IC POINTS THAT MUST BE USED VERBATIM.
MANPADS TRANSFERS TO STATE SPONSORS OF TERRORISM
-- Iran is the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism. We know that Iran has provided Chinese weapons to extremist groups in Iraq and Afghanistan that are using these weapons to kill Americans and Iraqis, something we take very seriously.
-- Iran is not a responsible purchaser of military equipment. There is an unacceptably high risk that any military equipment sold to Iran, especially weapons like MANPADS, that are highly sought-after by terrorists, will be diverted to non-state actors who threaten U.S. and Coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as civilians across the region.
-- It is for that reason UNSCR 1747 calls on states to exercise vigilance and restraint in the transfer of systems contained in the UN Register of Conventional Arms, such as MANPADS. Likewise, the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution A/62/391 encouraging state members to ban the transfer of MANPADS to non-state actors.
-- We strongly urge you to:
terminate all weapons-related, including further MANPADS-related transfers and technical assistance to Iran, in accordance with UNSCR 1747;
insist that Iran cease any weapons-production related activities based on or including Chinese technology, to include MANPADS technology;
insist that Iran stop illicit retransfers of Chinese-origin weapons, or Iranian-produced weapons based on Chinese designs, to non-state actors;
insist that Iran provide an accounting of all Chinese-origin weapons; and institute thorough, regular inspections of Chinese-origin weapons already in Iranian stocks to determine how many may have been diverted and to prevent future diversions.
-- We ask that you share with us the results of your investigations into this matter.
SERIAL NUMBERS OF WEAPONS SOLD TO IRAQ:
-- We have provided you with information on specific Chinese weapons systems that we have recovered in Iraq.
-- Further information you can provide to us on your sales of these systems to Iran would help our investigators on the ground distinguish between weapons newly transferred to Shia militants and those transferred prior to the commencement of armed conflict in 2003. Serial numbers of equipment sold to Iran would be most helpful in this regard.
END TALKING POINTS. RICE