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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 26, May 1998

US Waiver of Sanctions Under Iran and Libya Sanctions Act

'Fact Sheet on Cooperation on Non-Proliferation and Counterterrorism,' The White House, Office of the Spokesperson, 18 May 1998

Full text

"The Secretary of State has determined that the investment by the firms Total (France), Gazprom (Russia) and Petronas (Malaysia) constitutes sanctionable activity under the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA).

But considering the significant, enhanced multilateral cooperation the United States has achieved with the European Union and Russia in accomplishing ILSA's primary objective - inhibiting Iran's ability to develop weapons of mass destruction [WMD] and support for terrorist activity - Secretary Albright has determined that it is important to the national interest of the United States to waive the imposition of sanctions on the three firms.

The enhanced cooperation between the United States, European Union and Russia to counter the common threats of proliferation and terrorism are significant achievements in advancing President Clinton's strategy of combating the challenges to global security and prosperity in the 21st century.

The new procedures include:

European Union

Building on the already high level of cooperation between the United States and the European Union through multilateral fora, such as the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Nuclear Suppliers Group, Zangger Committee, Australia Group, and the Wassenaar arrangement, with today's joint statement we will significantly increase cooperation, to include:

  • An EU commitment to give high priority to proliferation concerns regarding Iran;
  • A clear public undertaking to prevent dual use technology transfers where there is a risk of diversion to WMD purposes;
  • Strengthen information sharing on non-proliferation issues and threats with the United States;
  • Agreement to pursue development of new and better controls on 'intangible' technology transfers (e.g., via electronic transmission);
  • Closer coordination of export control assistance to third countries;
  • Closer coordination of diplomatic efforts to stem technology exports by other countries to proliferators, including Iran;
  • Agreement to work together and with others to ensure ratification of all eleven counterterrorism conventions. The EU will give particular attention to obtaining adherence by Central and Eastern European States that are seeking EU membership.


On 22 January, Russia issued an Executive Order strengthening its export control system, giving the Russian Government broad authority to stop transfers of goods and services to foreign missile programs or programs for weapons of mass destruction. Last week, Russia published guidelines implementing the January executive order and establishing a catch-all export control system. Although much remains to be done and we will continue to work with the Russian authorities, President Yeltsin's public statements on May 4 and May 12 were important declarations of Russia's commitment to strictly control sensitive technologies. The new Russian proliferation system will:

  • Establish supervisory bodies in all enterprises dealing with missile or nuclear technologies, to ensure compliance with relevant regulations;
  • Set procedures for exporting enterprises to ensure proper controls, and outlines 'red flags' which indicate that a proposed purchaser is not legitimate;
  • Give the Russian Space Agency responsibility for oversight of the space rocket industry;
  • Establish a range of measures for licensing military exports.


Malaysia has not been a source of non-proliferation concerns for the United States, but at the upcoming session of the US-ASEAN Dialogue, the issue of establishing export control procedures for ASEAN members will be addressed."

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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