Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 21, December 1997
Russia Expels IranianOn 17 November, Russia announced it was expelling an Iranian citizen, alleging attempts by him to obtain classified information on missile designs. According to a Foreign Ministry statement, the unnamed man was an official at the Iranian Embassy - a claim reportedly disputed by the Embassy. The Statement noted that a "strong protest" had been delivered to the Iranian Ambassador "regarding the illegal activity of the Iranian Embassy's employee on the territory of the Russian Federation." The statement further revealed that when the suspect was arrested, "documents were taken from him showing that he was an employee of the...Embassy."
News of the expulsion was warmly welcomed by the US. According to State Department spokesperson Lee McClenny (18 November):
"We are encouraged by this action, which demonstrates a positive step by the Russian Government in countering the proliferation of sensitive technology to Iran. If the international community needed more evidence of Iran's objectionable policies and practices, this is it."
Reports: US lauds expulsion of Iranian, United Press International, 18 November; Missile design buyer linked to Iran Embassy, Reuters, 18 November.
© 1998 The Acronym Institute.