`China arming Iran'

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Washington - The White House is considering imposing economic sanctions on Peking following a report by the Central Intelligence Agency that China has recently delivered dozens, possibly hundreds, of vital components for missile systems to Iran and Pakistan, writes John Carlin.

Officials said yesterday that the US lacked conclusive evidence that the reported shipments breached international arms-control agreements. But White House spokesman Mike McCurry said: "When we make a determination that there's been a transfer of missile technology in violation of guidelines our law requires the imposition of sanctions."

The CIA report has come at a time of tension in Sino-American relations due to disputes over trade policy, human rights and a recent visit to the US by the president of Taiwan - which prompted Peking to recall its ambassador to the US. The CIA believes China has delivered guidance systems and computerised machine-tools to Iran.