Washington, DC, April 17, 1997.
Hon. Madeleine K. Albright,
Secretary of State,
Dear Secretary Albright: During 1996 Chinese defense companies delivered a number of missile boats to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy. Each missile boat was armed with four C-802 cruise missiles . Recently, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Robert Einhorn told the Senate, `These cruise missiles pose new, direct threats to deployed U.S. forces.'
It is now my understanding that China is about to deliver the land variant of the C-802 to Iran. When the Iranian Revolutionary Guard acquires C-802s in quantity, it will have a weapon with greater range, reliability, accuracy, and mobility than anything currently in its inventory.
The delivery of advanced cruise missiles to Iran is a violation of the Gore-McCain Act. However, in answer to my query on this issue in January, you answered, `The Administration has concluded at present that the known transfers (of C-802s) are not of a destabilizing number and type.'
However, I believe that the arrival of additional C-802s in Iran is a matter of grave concern to the United States, and the Administration has an obligation either to sanction the perpetrators or put in motion an alternative policy of equivalent strength.
Robert F. Bennett,