INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: (S) Iran Seeking Machine Tool Assistance From Taiwans Roundtop

Published: Thu 3 Dec 2009 09:27 PM
P 032127Z DEC 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AIT TAIPEI PRIORITY 0000
INFO MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
S E C R E T STATE 124113
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/03/2034 TAGS: PARM MTCRE PREL TW IR
SUBJECT: (S) IRAN SEEKING MACHINE TOOL ASSISTANCE FROM TAIWANS ROUNDTOP
REF: A. AIT TAIPEI 001102 B. STATE 034030 C. AIT TAIPEI 000226 D. 08 STATE 066110 E. 08 TAIWAN 001374 F. 07 STATE 149633 G. 07 AIT TAIPEI 002433 H. 07 STATE 116891 I. 07 AIT TAIPEI 000270 J. 07 STATE 012361 K. 06 AIT TAIPEI 002925 L. 06 AIT TAIPEI 001787 M. 06 STATE 079175 AND PREVIOUS
Classified By: ISN/MTR DIRECTOR PAM DURHAM REASONS 1.4 (B), (C) AND (D).
1. This is an action request. AIT Taipei, please see paragraph 4.
2. (S) Background: For many years, we have raised with Taiwan our concerns regarding exports by Roundtop Machinery Industries Company that posed potential proliferation concerns (Reftels). This case was discussed at both the February 2009 meeting in Taipei and the September 2009 meeting in Washington on the U.S.-Taiwan "Gameplan." During both meetings, Taiwan authorities informed the United States that its Ministry of Justice and Investigations Bureau had pursued prosecutions against Roundtop for suspected export control violations.
3. (S) We now would like to share with Taiwan authorities information that in October 2009, Irans Machine Sazi Tabriz requested that Roundtop send technicians to Iran to supply and replace parts for a double-column machining center previously supplied by Roundtop to Machine Sazi Tabriz. We understand that this machine may be controlled by the Wassenaar Arrangement and suitable for performing precision machining operations required for the production of missile and other weapons components. Machine Sazi Tabriz is the largest machine tool manufacturer in Iran and likely supplies some imported machine tools to Irans nuclear and ballistic missile programs. We therefore would like to ask Taiwan to investigate this activity and consider requiring an export license for Roundtop to provide replacement parts and repair services for this machine. We want to emphasize that any license related to this activity should be closely scrutinized by Taiwan authorities to ensure that such equipment is not being used to su pport weapons development applications in Iran.
4. (S) Action Request: Request AIT Taipei approach appropriate officials to deliver talking points/non-paper in paragraph 5 below and report response. Talking points also may be provided as a non-paper. (NOTE: Pursuant to a decision made at the February 2009 Gameplan discussions in Taipei, Department plans to concurrently deliver this demarche to TECRO officials in Washington, D.C. END NOTE)
5. (S) Begin talking points/non-paper:
(SECRET REL TAIWAN)
-- We would like to alert you to information of potential proliferation concern and request your assistance in investigating this activity.
-- On a number of occasions, we have raised with you our concerns regarding computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tool exports to Iran by Taiwans Roundtop Machinery Industries Company.
-- During our February 2009 meetings in Taipei and September 2009 meetings in Washington on the U.S.-Taiwan "Gameplan," you informed us that your Ministry of Justice and Investigations Bureau had pursued prosecutions against Roundtop for suspected export control violations.
-- To assist your investigation of this firm, we would like to share with you information that in October 2009, Irans Machine Sazi Tabriz was requesting Roundtop send technicians to Iran to supply and replace a 20,000-rpm spindle for a model DMC-3000 double-column machining center.
-- We understand that the machine in need of repair was supplied by Roundtop to Machine Sazi Tabriz possibly in early 2006.
-- We believe this machine, which is controlled by the Wassenaar Arrangement if sold in a 5-axis configuration, would be suitable for performing precision machining operations required for the production of missile and other weapons components.
-- Machine Sazi Tabriz is the largest machine tool manufacturer in Iran and likely supplies some imported machine tools to Irans nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
-- We urge you to investigate this activity and ask that you require an export license for Roundtop to provide replacement parts and repair services for this machine. We also request that you determine whether the machine exported by Roundtop is controlled by the Wassenaar Arrangement.
-- We believe any license related to this activity should be closely scrutinized to ensure that such equipment is not being used to support weapons development applications in Iran.
-- We look forward to continuing cooperation on export control and nonproliferation issues and would appreciate hearing the results of your investigation into this activity at the earliest possible time.
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