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November 29, 2010 / joninews

Turkey Trusted American Partner in Arms Trading with Iran

S E C R E T STATE 015856  SIPDIS  E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/19/2035 TAGS: ETTC MARR MCAP MOPS PARM PINR PREL PTER MASS TU IRSUBJECT: (S) TURKISH FIRMS ENGAGED IN MILITARY MATERIEL-RELATED DEALS WITH IRAN  Classified By: EUR/PRA Director Stephanie Miley  ¶1. (U) This is an action request to Embassy Ankara. Please see paragraph 7.  ---------- BACKGROUND ----------  ¶2. (S) The U.S. has information about several transactions involving Turkish firms planning to export and import from Iran arms and related material controlled by the Wassenaar Arrangement. Specifically, Iran is interested in procuring Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) .38 caliber and wadcutter bullets; 40 mm automatic grenade launchers; 5.56 mm composite magazines (for M16 assault rifles), and 7.62 X 39 mm and 7.62 X 51 mm composite magazines from Turkey. In addition, we understand that a Turkish firm may also be pursuing a deal to import plastic explosives and nitrocellulose from Iran.  ¶3. (S) The U.S. wants to provide this information to Turkish officials, request that they investigate this activity and use all available means to prevent these firms from exporting and importing such arms to and from Iran. In addition to any domestic Turkish authorities that may apply, these activities may also be in violation of both United Nations Security Resolution (UNSCR) 1747 and U.S. domestic authorities.  ¶4. (S) UNSCR 1747: UNSCR 1747, paragraph 5, prohibits Iran from supplying, selling or transferring from its territory any "arms or related materiel." It also requires all states to prohibit the procurement of such items from Iran by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft; whether or not such transfers originated in the territory of Iran. The procurement of plastic explosives from Iran would violate UNSCR 1747.  ¶5. (S) The Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA): INKSNA authorizes sanctions against any foreign person that transfers to or from Iran, North Korea, or Syria goods, services, or technology controlled by multilateral control lists (e.g., Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Australia Group, or Wassenaar Arrangement); of the same kind as those on multilateral control lists, but falling below the control list parameters, when it is determined that such goods, services, and technologies have the potential to make a material contribution to WMD, or cruise or ballistic missile systems; on U.S. national control lists for WMD/missile reasons that are not on multilateral lists; or with the potential of making a material contribution to WMD, or cruise or ballistic missile systems. Accordingly, the U.S. is concerned that if the Turkish firms proceed with transferring the grenade launchers, bullets, and ammunition magazines, we would be required to report this to the U.S. Congress and the Turkish firms could be subject to U.S. sanctions.  ¶6. (S) The U.S. is also concerned about the potential exports to Iran because one of the items may be of U.S. origin. According to Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) records, Turkey received 181 MK-19 40 mm grenade launchers from the United States in 1995. However, we do not know definitively if any of these are among the 40 mm grenade launchers contemplated as part of the sale to Iran. We note, however, that if any U.S.-origin defense equipment (including technical data) is re-transferred to Iran, that would violate Section 3 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). As a consequence, Turkey could lose its country eligibility under the AECA to purchase or lease defense articles, including Patriot or Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles, or services, or to receive credits or guarantees relating to any purchase or lease.  ------------------------- ACTION REQUEST/OBJECTIVES -------------------------  ¶7. (S) Post is requested to approach GOT officials to pursue the following objectives and to deliver the talking points/non-paper in paragraph 8 below as appropriate:  -- Thank Turkish officials for Turkey's continued cooperation and support in preventing the transfer of arms or related material to and from Iran;  -- Inform the GOT that we are very concerned that Turkish firms may be exporting to and importing from Iran arms and related material;  -- Note that the export of Wassenaar Arrangement controlled items to Iran could require a report to the U.S. Congress under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA) and may result in sanctions being imposed on the entities and individuals involved;  -- Point out that the import of arms or related material from Iran would violate UNSCR 1747, which prohibits Iran from supplying, selling or transferring from its territory any "arms or related materiel" and requires all states to prohibit the procurement of such items from Iran by their nationals;  -- Emphasize this is not the time for business as usual with Iran;  -- Remind the GOT that both the DIO and Parchin were designated for an asset freeze under UNSCRs 1737 and 1747, respectively, and were sanctioned by the U.S. under Executive Order (E.O.) 13382;  -- Strongly urge the GOT to use available legal authorities, including appropriate domestic laws and authorities related to implementing UNSCRs 1737 and 1747, to immediately terminate these deals and freeze any assets of DIO;  -- Note that Iran has a long history of providing arms and other military equipment to terrorist groups and that these items could easily end up in the hands of al-Qaida, Hamas, Hizballah, and the Taliban;  -------------- TALKING POINTS --------------  ¶8. (S//REL TURKEY) Begin talking points:  -- We appreciate the Government of Turkey's continued cooperation and support in preventing the transfer of military equipment and related materiel to and from Iran.  -- In the spirit of this cooperation, we want to share with you some additional information about Turkish firms involved in dealings concerning arms and related materiel with Iran.  --------------- EXPORTS TO IRAN ---------------  -- We have information that the Turkish firms Mercan Tanitim Dis Ticaret ve Muhendislik Ltd. and Makina ve Kimya Endustrisi Kurumu (MKEK) may sign a contract to export military material to Iran.  -- The items covered by the contract include: FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) .38 caliber and wadcutter bullets; 40 mm automatic grenade launchers; 5.56 mm composite magazines (for M16 assault rifles), and 7.62 X 39 mm and 7.62 X 51 mm composite magazines, all of which are specified on the Wassenaar Arrangement Munitions List.  -- In addition, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) records, Turkey received 181 MK-19 40 mm grenade launchers from the United States in 1995. We do not know, definitively, if any of these were among the 40 mm grenade launchers contemplated as part of the sale to Iran.  -- We should note, however, that if any U.S.-origin defense equipment (including technical data) is re-transferred to Iran, that transfer would violate Section 3 of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act (AECA). As a consequence, Turkey could lose its country eligibility under the AECA to purchase or lease defense articles. This could potentially include Patriot or Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles, or services, or the ability to receive credits or guarantees relating to any purchase or lease.  ----------------- IMPORTS FROM IRAN -----------------  -- In addition to our information related to the export of arms material to Iran, we also understand some of the same Turkish firms involved in the exports are interested in procuring arms material from Iran.  -- Specifically, we understand that in September 2009, Mercan Tanitim was pursuing a deal with MKEK to import 2,000 kg of Composition A-4 military plastic explosives produced by Parchin Chemical Industries, an Iranian government military company and an element of the Defense Industries Organization  (DIO).  -- We further understand that in September 2009, the Turkish companies Kolorkim Kimya San and Mercan Tanitim were considering a deal to import nitrocellulose (NC) from Iran. NC is a dual-use material that serves as a major component in smokeless gunpowder.  -- As a subordinate of DIO, Parchin acts on behalf of DIO, importing and exporting chemical goods throughout the world. In April 2007, Parchin Chemical Industries was identified as the final recipient of sodium perchlorate monohydrate, a chemical precursor for solid propellant oxidizer, possibly to be used for ballistic missiles.  -- As you know, DIO is one of seven Iranian nuclear-related entities designated for an asset freeze in the Annex to UNSCR ¶1737. In addition to being listed in the Annex for UNSCR 1737, DIO was sanctioned previously by the United States for WMD- or missile-related activities under the Iran and Syria Nonproliferation Act (ISNA), the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, and the Export Administration Act.  -- We would further note that Parchin Chemical Industries has been designated for an asset freeze under UNSCR 1747 and U.S. E.O. 13382 in July 2008 as a consequence of its work on behalf of Iran's ballistic missile program. We, therefore, urge you, per UNSCR 1747, to freeze any assets of Parchin Chemical Industries that may come under Turkish jurisdiction.  -- We would like to inform you that Turkish firms engaged in business with entities designated under E.O. 13382 are eligible for sanctions if such activities are not halted.  -- Given the UN Security Council's grave concern over Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile program activities, we urge you to encourage all Turkish firms to avoid any affiliation with this company.  -- Iran, a U.S.-designated State Sponsor of Terrorism, has a long history of providing arms and other military equipment to terrorist groups and other non-state actors, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon. We are concerned that the materials being negotiated for transfer by the Turkish companies in question could be diverted by Iran to such groups.  -- Iran has long supplied non-state actors, including terrorist groups such as Hizballah, with arms and other military equipment. The terrorist applications of small arms and light weapons (SA/LW) are obvious, but Iran has also supplied terrorists with larger weapons systems that threaten regional security and stability.  -- Failure to prevent these sales could result in the re-transfer of military material and explosives by Iran to groups like al-Qaida, Hamas, Hizballah, and the Taliban. This would harm the Turkish government's reputation as a NATO ally and demonstrated opponent of terrorism, and would reflect badly on the Turkish business community.  -- These transactions could also be damaging to our bilateral relationship as these items can be used to kill and severely injure Coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region.  -- Turkey is also required to prevent the transfers from Iran as noted in UNSCR 1747, paragraph 5, which prohibits Iran from supplying, selling or transferring from its territory any "arms or related materiel." All states are required to prohibit the procurement of such items from Iran by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft; whether or not such transfers originated in the territory of Iran.  -- We believe the arms and explosives acquisitions being pursued by Mercan Tanitim and MKEK with Iranian entities would clearly violate this provision of UNSCR 1747, and that the Kolorkim and Mercan Tanitim deal involving the transfer of nitrocellulose may as well.  -- Action to prevent such transfers would clearly demonstrate Turkey's commitment to the full and effective implementation of UNSCR 1747. Such action would also remove the possibility that these firms could be subject to U.S. sanctions under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA).  -- We strongly urge you to investigate this information and prevent any transfers being contemplated by the entities involved by using authorities available under Turkish domestic law.  -- Please share with us the results of your investigation at your earliest convenience.  END POINTS  --------------------- REPORTING REQUIREMENT ---------------------  ¶9. (U) Post is requested to please report results of its efforts as soon as possible.  ----------------- POINTS OF CONTACT -----------------  ¶10. (U) Washington points of contact for follow-up are Margaret T. Mitchell and Michael Rolleri of ISN/CATR, and Matthew Hardiman, EUR/PRA. CLINTON

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