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Since July 1987, over 40 convoys have been completed.
We also have been able to reduce for levels stationed in and
around the Gulf.
No one should conclude from the restructuring
of our naval forces in the area that our commitment has
commitment to help protect our friends in the region from
Iranian intimidation, to help keep international waterways free
of mines and thus to ensure access to the vital oil reserves of
the region and has helped to strengthen our bilateral relations
not only with the Gulf Arab states but with other moderate
Our overall goal, of course,
remains a negotiated end to the
Iran-Iraq war, in accordance with Resolution 598 of the Security
Since the passage of Resolution 598 last July, we have
actively supported Secretary General Perez de Cuellar's efforts
to obtain compliance with 598's call for a comprehensive
Iraq has agreed to accept 598 and has repeated its
acceptance a number of times.
Unfortunately, Iran seems more
interested in diplomatic maneuvering to make the best of a bad
Iran continues to insist on rewriting 598 by calling for
an international condemnation of Iraq as the aggressor as a precondition for willingness to implement Resolution 598 mandatory Resolution which cannot be made an object of bargaining.
We therefore came to the conclusion some time ago that
specifically an arms embargo,
be needed to start a process that would bring Iran to accept
A draft Resolution has been circulated to all the members
of the Security Council.
Our objective was to bring that
Resolution to a vote during our Presidency of the Security
Council in February.
That effort was blocked in large measure
by Soviet unwillingness to proceed.
The Secretary discussed
this issue intensively in Moscow during his visit in February,
and I raised it in my own talks last week in Moscow.
We are deeply disappointed by Soviet reluctance to proceed,
despite repeated assurances
including to Secretary Shultz in
Moscow last month
that the Soviets would now support passage
of a second resolution.
We view our objective of securing an
arms embargo against Iran not as
a punitive measure, but as a
necessary step towards peace.
This issue will be high on the
agenda for Secretary Shultz when he meets next week with Foreign
Minister Shevardnadze in Washington.
The recent resumption of the "war of the cities," and the
attendant death and destruction arising from missile attacks on civilian areas, has underscored the need for the earliest
settlement of the Iran-Iraq war in all its aspects.
condemned attacks on civilian targets by both sides.
the latest expression of the horror of this war,
now in its
We are using our diplomatic influence in Iraq to
urge an end to the current cycle.
These attacks, however,
symptoms of a larger problem; they are not the problem itself.
We are convinced that implementation of Resolution 598 is the
best, perhaps only, path to peace.
Half measures, such as the
Soviet Union's proposal for a Security Council resolution
focussed narrowly on the war of the cities, are inadequate.
As you know, Mr. Chairman, an important element of our
policy has been our objective of limiting the sale of arms to
Iran. 1987 was been one of the busiest - and most successful years for Operation Staunch since its initiation in December
We made approximately 40 demarches to more than 20
The most positive results were achieved in Western Europe.
In 1984, 15 Western European nations sold more than $1 billion
In 1987, this dropped to 6 nations selling
of arms to Iran.
about $200 million in arms.
In Austria, Spain, and elsewhere
in Europe, media inquiries into alleged arms sales to Iran have mobilized public interest and sparked political controversy.
As a result, Iran generally has not been able to buy the
parts and replacements for the modern Western weaponry
inherited from the Shah's regime and has found it difficult to
buy new high-tech, modern military systems from the West.
has been forced to pay high prices, buy in small lots, and ship
through slow, roundabout channels. We believe that this has had a significant effect on Iranian military capabilities.
Partly as a result of declining purchases in the West,
Iran has become increasingly dependent on Soviet-type weaponry
imported from China, North Korea, and Eastern Europe.
It is believed that China supplied Iran with well over half
of its arms imports in 1987, including surface-to-air missiles,
artillery and ammunition.
We have made major efforts to
persuade China to reduce arms exports to Iran, focusing on
exports of destabilizing anti-ship missile systems such as the
These efforts have included requesting a delay in
COCOM of further liberalization of some dual use items for
We discussed this issue further with Chinese Foreign
Minister Wu on March 7-8.
In those talks, the Secretary
concern about international arms sales to Iran,
that are capable of hitting ships in the
At the same
time he expressed U.S. satisfaction that
China had halted shipment of Silkworm anti-ship missiles, said
that we would begin taking measures to move ahead on
liberalization of the COCOM tech transfer regime, and stressed China's actions and deeds would be important in enabling this process to proceed. Wu in turn promised that China would
"participate actively" in discussions of a follow-on resolution
and would vote in favor of such a resolution if the majority of ..
the Security Council supported it.
Mr. Chairman, our Persian Gulf policy has succeeded in its
objective of restoring American credibility in this area vital
to the economic health of the West.
Our diplomatic efforts to
bring Iran to the negotiating table continue.
deployment and our diplomacy have deterred Iran, and given
heart to our friends in the area.
The restrained use of
military power has been matched to the pursuit of achievable political objectives. Staying power will be required, but we are convinced we are on the right path, and we intend to keep a
Finally, I would like to touch on the question of u.s. arms
sales to the Near East and South Asia.
The full committee was
briefed in closed session on the Administration's arms sales
proposals for CY 1988, covering all major weapons sales
considered eligible for approval in the coming year.