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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 28, July 1998

Senate Delays Iran Veto Decision As Russia Investigates Nine Entities

On 15 July, the Russian Government announced an investigation into nine 'entities' - companies and institutes - suspected of violating controls on exports of goods or services which could be used in weapons-of-mass-destruction or missile programmes (see Documents and Sources for details of the entities and the investigation). According to reports, all the suspected violations involved exports to Iran.

The move was warmly welcomed by the Clinton Administration, and was an important factor in the postponement on a vote in the House of Representatives, scheduled for 17 July, expected to over-ride President Clinton's veto on 9 June of the Iran Missiles Sanctions Act, stipulating mandatory US sanctions against Russian entities identified as supporting Iranian proliferation efforts (see last issue). On 15 July, the Administration announced that it would impose sanctions against any of the entities confirmed as transgressors. White House spokesperson Mike McCurry added that the Administration would be conducting a parallel investigation into the entities. The same day, a spokesperson for House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Republican - Georgia) lent grudging support to the Administration's stance:

"It is sad that the President chose to act so late in the process, some 48 hours before a possible veto over-ride. Had he acted earlier, he might have long ago halted the continuing missile cooperation between Russia and Iran."

Reports: US to penalize Russian firms, Associated Press, 15 July; Congress puts off vote on Iran, Associated Press, 17 July.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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