ACCESSION NUMBER:00000 FILE ID:95041108.POL DATE:04/11/95 TITLE:RUSSIANS URGED BY PERRY NOT TO MAKE REACTOR SALE TO IRAN TEXT: (Also discussed PFP, START II, ABM on recent visit) (680) By Jacquelyn S. Porth USIA Security Affairs Writer Washington -- While the subject of Russia's plan to sell a nuclear reactor to Iran did not loom large on Defense Secretary Perry's agenda, the secretary did tell the Russians during his recent visit that the United States doesn't think "that anything except refraining from the sale...will satisfy our proliferation concerns" about Iran. A senior Defense Department official told reporters April 11 the secretary made that point after some Russian officials hinted that sufficient proliferation constraints would be built into the sale to Iran. The official said Perry also pointed out that Iran clearly does not need to buy the Russian reactor to meet its energy requirements. "One little glimmer of hope in this whole deal," the official said, is that the Iranians may not be able to afford to pay for the reactor "and they'll get started and not be able to follow through on it." The Russians made it clear that their motivation is to earn hard currency with the sale, and Perry raised the possibility that Iran may not have enough money to complete the deal, causing the program to be "strung out over a very long period of time or...terminated at some point." Perry's trip to Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia at the end of March and beginning of April was designed to show that the United States remains "steady" in pursuing its interests in the former Soviet Union and in solidifying its defense-to-defense relationships. In Ukraine Perry discussed the Russian-Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet dispute and also told the Ukrainians that American firms will be able to cooperate with Ukraine on a future space launch. He also observed the removal of an SS-19 missile from its silo and visited a former naval weapons manufacturer which is being converted to a facility which will produce modular prefabricated housing. U.S. and Ukrainian officials also discussed an upcoming joint peacekeeping exercise, which the secretary will return to observe in about six weeks. In Russia Perry discussed a joint peacekeeping exercise that will take place in the United States in the fall, as well as the Partnership for Peace (PFP) program. The official said Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev expressed support for Russian participation in PFP. The official also said the U.S. delegation encountered "residual anxiety" about NATO eastward expansion, but Perry explained to his hosts that expansion is not directed at Russia. START II ratification was discussed, and Perry inaugurated a joint program to increase the safety and security of nuclear weapons in Russia. He also viewed various aspects of the Nunn-Lugar nuclear dismantlement effort at work, including strategic bombers being chopped in half. The secretary presented the U.S. position on developing future theater missile defenses and how they will be in compliance with the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and the Russian-Chechnya situation was on the agenda. In Kazakhstan Perry discussed U.S. efforts to help the Kazakhis create their own naval fleet as well efforts to follow-up on Project Sapphire, which removed highly enriched uranium from Kazakhstan to the United States earlier this year. The secretary also opened an International Science Center in Almaty. The center distributes research grants to former weapons scientists, the official explained, "so that people who previously made their living out of designing or testing nuclear weapons have something else to do with their careers." The official said the secretary went to Uzbekistan because it is "strategically located" and shares many common interests with the United States. While there, he said, Perry inaugurated a U.S.-Uzbeki military-to-military relationship that will allow bilateral defense activities, such as joint military training and defense conversion efforts, to begin. Perry also stressed the need for "continued progress in democratization as well as economic reform" in Uzbekistan, "where, the official noted, "progress has been much slower...than we would like." NNNN .