Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 81

Yesterday’s Times’ story follows yet another in a long series of talks between Russian and U.S. officials on the leakage of Russian missile technology to Iran. Last week, a high-powered U.S. delegation–which included U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, Undersecretary of State John Holum, and White Special Envoy Robert Gallucci–traveled to Moscow for that purpose. (Itar-Tass, Kommersant-Daily, April 21; Russian agencies, April 22) Few details were made public of the discussions, but, for the Americans, the talks reportedly left a number of issues unresolved. Washington, for example, is said to be concerned still that Iranians continue to receive missile-related technical training at two Russian institutions. The Russian side has reportedly also failed to finish its investigations into two Russian enterprises said by the United States to be providing Iran with technology and materials for missile development.

U.S. lawmakers have accused the Clinton administration of failing to act decisively enough to stop Russian missile technology leaks to Iran, and have threatened sanctions against Russian institutions that are involved in missile cooperation with Tehran. In an interview last week, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott said the Senate would vote next month on a resolution to impose sanctions “if there’s not major progress made in the next thirty days.” (The New York Times, April 25) For its part, the Clinton administration has opposed sanctions, arguing that they could undermine important cooperation efforts between Moscow and Washington in other areas.