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Monday, June 11, 2012

When is the sale of missile technology by a government company not official government policy?

The Obama administration is attempting to ignore the fact that Russian government-owned defense contractors are supplying Iran with missile technology to enable the development of long-range ballistic missiles.
Russian missile manufacturers provided goods to Iran’s ballistic missile program, but U.S. intelligence agencies claim the proliferation is not part of an official Moscow policy of backing Tehran weapons programs.

The unclassified assessment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was sent in April to Congress following a request from Capitol Hill to explain the current state of Moscow-Tehran missile trade. The new intelligence on the missile trade could trigger sanctions under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria sanctions law or limit U.S. government interaction with Moscow.

“We assess that individual entities have provided assistance to Iran’s ballistic missile programs,” the DNI statement by legislative director Kathleen Turner said.

The new assessment differs from an earlier intelligence statement supplied to Congress that was more categorical on the transfers and did not contain legalistic references included in an apparent effort to avoid linking the Russian government to recent missile-related transfers.

The assessment could affect a requested presidential waiver sought by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration that is needed prior to the next U.S. payment to Russia for the International Space Station.

A State Department official said the Russia-Iran missile trade has not been raised in recent meetings between U.S. and Russian officials.

Current law requires the president to certify that it is Russia’s policy to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear and missile technology and systems.

“NASA wants another waiver to allow us to make payments to Moscow for the International Space Station, but the president cannot certify that Russia has a policy to prevent their own assistance to Iran’s missiles, to say nothing of the nuclear program, and what’s going on in Syria,” said a congressional aide close to the issue.

The waiver is required under the nonproliferation law before any payments can be made.

Additionally, the administration is pressing Congress to pass permanent normal trade relations legislation for Russia, raising further questions that the administration is ignoring Russian arms proliferation to Tehran.

“What message will all this send to Putin,” the aide said. “I think we know: The Obama administration reset cancer is now metastatic to all U.S. policy.”

The statement concludes that, while it is not official Russian policy to assist Iran’s missile programs, Moscow is incapable of implementing a policy to halt such exports or prevent state-owned arms manufacturers from assisting Iran, the aide said.

The assessment appears to be in line with President Obama’s conciliatory policies toward Russia. The president was overheard during a conversation with then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in March as telling the Russians not to pressure him during the current election campaign. Obama promised “more flexibility” in stalled talks on missile defenses after his presumed reelection, according to the conversation that was recorded by television cameras.
Isn't the Obama administration's attitude of forgiveness toward American enemies amazing? Too bad he doesn't cut the same slack to American allies.

As to his director of national 'intelligence,' James Clapper, you might recall that Clapper was the guy who told Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood is a 'secular' organization.

So on the Russian front, if God forbid Obama is reelected, by 2016 we will have no US missile defense, an Iranian ICBM with Russian technology, and every state in the Middle East other than Israel (assuming it still exists) gone Islamist.

What could go wrong?

Read the whole thing.

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