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U.S. Department of State
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Press Statement


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Press Statement by James P. Rubin, Spokesman
April 24, 2000

Russia-Iran Missile Issues

The Russian Ministry of Education has concluded a special investigation of the Rector of the Baltic State Technical University (BSTU), Yuri Savel'ev, for involvement in the transfer of sensitive technology to Iran. The Rector is believed to have violated Russian export controls and attempted to export goods or services that could contribute to missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The investigation revealed a number of violations of procedures for enrolling foreign students and resulted in administrative action against the Rector and cancellation of specialized courses for Iranian students and training of Iranian specialists at BSTU. The Russian government's decision to take action against the Rector of BSTU demonstrates Russia's commitment to stopping the flow of sensitive technologies to Iran and underscores the importance of continued U.S.-Russian cooperation in combating the threat posed by Iran's aggressive pursuit of WMD and their delivery systems.

In July 1998, the United States Government imposed trade and administrative penalties on BSTU for its involvement with Iran. Consistent with the Russian Government's actions, and with our own assessment, the United States now also will move to impose a ban on U.S. Government assistance to and procurement from the Rector of BSTU and proceed to impose a ban on imports from and U.S. exports to this person.

The United States will continue to urge the Russian leadership to strengthen implementation of controls on exports to Iran and to enforce compliance with Russia's laws, policies, and international understandings on such transfers. The U.S. Government is prepared to lift penalties against entities and individuals that refrain from sensitive technology cooperation with Iran to the extent consistent with U.S. law and regulation. In this connection, the United States intends to remove restrictions imposed in July 1998 on two Russian entities--INOR Scientific Center and Polyus Scientific Production Association--which have ceased the proliferant behavior that led to the imposition of these penalties. Trade penalties imposed in July 1998 against five other Russian entities, including BSTU, and in January 1999 against three additional entities, will remain in place.

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