ACCESSION NUMBER:243261 FILE ID:TXT401 DATE:09/17/92 TITLE:CHINA-IRAN NUCLEAR COOPERATION (09/17/92) TEXT:*92091701.TXT CHINA-IRAN NUCLEAR COOPERATION (VOA Editorial) (420) (Following is an editorial, broadcast by the Voice of America September 17, reflecting the views of the U.S. government.) Chinese and Iranian officials recently announced that China will help Iran to build a nuclear power plant. The United States does not welcome this announcement. It has been the U.S. view for some time that any nuclear cooperation with Iran, even for peaceful purposes, is highly imprudent and should be avoided. According to the Chinese-Iranian announcement, the planned nuclear reactor would be under safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency. But the Iranian regime's conduct in recent years raises serious questions about whether it can be trusted to live up to its commitments under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. This conduct includes statements by high-ranking Iranian officials in support of acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. As Robert Gates, Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, told members of Congress earlier this year, Iran has been engaged in a significant military buildup. According to Gates, this buildup has included the purchase of advanced warplanes and anti-aircraft missiles from Russia and China, and the purchase of extended-range Scud missiles from North Korea. Iran is also suspected of developing chemical weapons and a biological warfare capability. Iran, like Iraq, used chemical weapons in 1heir long war in the 1980s. The United States and other countries are particularly concerned about Iranian efforts to acquire or develop weapons of mass destruction because of the Iranian regime's record as a state sponsor of international terrorism. One of the most ruthless terrorist groups supported by Iran is Hizbollah. Hizbollah has been involved in numerous acts of terrorism against Americans and citizens of many other countries, both in the Middle East and in other parts of the world. Hizbollah is the leading suspect in the terrorist bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires earlier this year. The bombing claimed the lives of more than two dozen people. Because of Iran's support for Hizbollah and other terrorist groups, the United States has placed Iran on a list of countries which may not acquire U.S.-made weapons or other items that could be used in the development of chemical and biological weapons or ballistic missiles. The trade ban includes nuclear-related goods and technology. The United States urges other countries, including China, to adopt similar policies in regard to Iran and other state sponsors of terrorism. NNNN .