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COCHRAN: The committee will please come to order. Let me note at the outset that the Senate is in session, and there has been an objection made to committees of the Senate meeting today during the session of the Senate. I've checked with the parliamentarian on the rule and was advised that the sanction or prohibition relates to legislation that might be reported out at a meeting of the committee that occurs during a session of the Senate so that any legislation that is reported at such a meeting would be subject to a point of order if called up in the Senate. We have no intention of meeting for the purpose of reporting out any legislation at today's session, and so with the hope that that understanding is correct as a result of my discussion with the parliamentarian, we will proceed with the hearing at which witnesses have agreed to testify on the subject of Iran's ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs.
We welcome all of you today's hearing and observe that in 1995, the intelligence community assessed that Iran had neither the motivation nor the technical and economic resources to build an intercontinental ballistic missile. That assessment has changed.
In the last five years, as the intelligence community now recognizes, Iran has made rapid progress in the development of long range ballistic missiles because of assistance from North Korea, Russia, and China. Iran is now on the threshold of developing a missile with intercontinental ranges.
One option available to Iran is to develop missiles similar to North Korea's Taepo Dong-1 or Taepo Dong-2 using technology North Korea has already transferred to Iran or may transfer in future sales. According to the intelligence community, a missile could be flight tested within the next few years.
Another option is to develop a long range ballistic missile using technology and assistance from Russia and other countries, which intelligence community officials have testified could be flight tested as early as 2005.
The substantial assistance Iran continues to receive from foreign missile suppliers is an indication of Iran's interest in the development of long range ballistic missiles. This assistance to accelerate Iran's capabilities, though as a result of all the assistance it has already received, Iran now has the capability to do much on its own.
Beyond its own efforts to develop and acquire more advanced ballistic missiles, Iran has also become a supplier of ballistic missile technology and assistance to other nations. Unclassified reports from the intelligence community have identified Iran as a supplier of both scud missile technology and solid propellant missile technology to Syria. Press reports have also linked Iran to other ballistic missile programs, including Libya's.
In testimony to the Senate earlier this year, Director of Central Intelligence Tenet said, and I quote, "Iran's existence as a secondary supplier of this technology to other countries is the trend that worries me the most," end quote. Iran's minister of defense announced a few hours ago that a Shahab-3 ballistic missile has been tested successfully earlier today. Iran also continues its aggressive pursuit of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.
Our witnesses today will help us examine the extent and pace of Iran's ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs, as well as the prospects for and consequences of continued proliferation cooperation between countries like Iran and North Korea.
Our witnesses today are Mr. Robert Walpole, the intelligence community's National Intelligence Officer for Strategic and Nuclear Programs; Mr. A. Norman Schindler, the Deputy Director of the Director of Central Intelligence's Nonproliferation Center; Dr. Stephen Cambone, the former Staff Director for the Rumsfeld Commission; and Mr. Michael Eisenstadt, who is a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Before we begin, I would like to remind all participants that this hearing is being held at the unclassified level.
Mr. Walpole, we appreciate your attendance. We know you've prepared a statement for our committee. We will print that statement in the record in its entirety, and we encourage you to make whatever summary comments from the statement that you think would be helpful to the committee. You may proceed.
Intelligence Community's National Intelligence Officer for
Strategic and Nuclear Programs
WALPOLE: Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear in open session to discuss our assessments of Iran's missile programs and programs for weapons of mass destruction. Open sessions give the public a brief glimpse at the important work that we in the intelligence community do for national security.
But, as you know, much of our knowledge of Iran's weapons programs is based on extremely sensitive sources and methods and must remain classified or left unsaid in an open session. Thus, many of the details will have to be summarized here. We can provide additional details in classified briefings to you or other senators if they so desire, but we hope the summaries that we give today will be of use to this subcommittee and to the public.
The worldwide proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction continues to evolve. Short and medium range missiles, particularly if armed with weapons of mass destruction, already pose significant threat overseas to U.S. interests, forces, and allies.
Moreover, the proliferation of missile technology and components continues, contributing to longer range systems. Development efforts, in many cases fueled by foreign assistance, have led to new capabilities, as illustrated by Iran's Shahab-3 launches in 1998 and 2000 and North Korea's Taepo Dong-1's base launch attempt in August, 1998. Also disturbing, some of the countries that were formerly recipients of technology have now been disseminating that to others.
The intelligence community continues to project that during the next 15 years, the United States most likely will face ICBM threats from North Korea, probably from Iran, the focus of today's hearing, and possibly from Iraq, barring significant changes in their political orientations. These threats are, of course, in addition to longstanding threats from Russia and China.
That said, the threat facing the United States in the year 2015 will depend on our evolving relations with foreign countries, the political situation and economic issues in those countries, and numerous other factors that we cannot predict with confidence. For example, our current relations with Russia are significantly different than anyone would have forecast 15 years ago.
Important changes could develop in Iran and in Iran's external threat environment over the next 15 years. Iran is in a period of domestic dynamism, with its parliament and other institutions engaged in a vibrant and potentially tumultuous debate about change and reform.
At the present time, and at least for the next three years, we do not believe the national debate is likely to produce any fundamental change in Iran's national security policies and programs. But recognizing significant uncertainties surrounding projections 15 years into the future and the potential for reformers' success in Iran, we have projected Iranian ballistic missile trends and capabilities into the future, largely based on assessed technical capabilities and with the general premise that Iran's relations with the United States and related threat perceptions will not change significantly enough to alter Teheran's intentions. As changes occur, of course, our assessment of the threat will change as well.
The new missile threats from Iran and others are far different from those in the Cold War. The emerging threats are going to involve smaller missiles, less accurate, less reliable, fewer missiles than we've seen in the past. Even so, the missiles will be threatening.
North Korea's space launch attempt demonstrated in ways that words alone could not that the new long range missile threat is moving from hypothetical to real. Moreover, many countries developing longer range missiles probably assess that the threat of their use would complicate American decision making during crises, increase the cost of a victory, deter the United States from pursuing certain objectives, and provide independent deterrent and war fighting capabilities.
They would see the threat of the use rather than the use of these weapons as providing them deterrents, course of diplomacy, and prestige. Some of these systems would be for political impact. Others may be built to perform specific military missions, facing the United States with a spectrum of motivations, development time lines, and hostile capabilities.
The probability that a missile with a weapon of mass destruction would be used against U.S. forces or interests is higher today than during most of the Cold War and will continue to grow. This is because many more nations now have them, and we've also seen ballistic missiles used against U.S. forces during the Gulf War. Although the missiles used then did not have weapons of mass destruction warheads, Iraq had weaponized ballistic missile warheads with biological and chemical weapon agents, and they were available for use.
Some of the regimes controlling missiles have weapons of mass destruction programs and have exhibited the intention to use those even without missiles. Then we have non-state entities that are seeking weapons of mass destruction. In fact, in the coming years, we project that U.S. territory is probably more likely to be attacked with weapons of mass destruction from non-missile delivery means than by missiles, primarily because the non-missile delivery means are less costly, easier to acquire, and more and accurate.
But the missile threat will continue to grow, in part because the missiles have become an important regional weapon in numerous countries' arsenals, and they provide a level of prestige, course of diplomacy, and deterrent that non-missile means do not.
Iran has very active missile and weapons of mass destruction development programs and is seeking for missile, chemical, biological, and nuclear technologies. Iran's ballistic missile program is one of the largest in the Middle East.
Teheran already has deployed hundreds of short range ballistic missiles covering most of Iraq and many strategic targets in the Persian Gulf. It will soon deploy the 1,300 kilometer range Shahab-3 medium range ballistic missile, which will allow it to reach Israel and most of Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
And, at this point, let me address this announcement that you mentioned on the Shahab-3. I would be very careful how much credibility we apply to public announcements like this. This is not the first such launch. The announcement said it was the first launch. This is the third.
It says that it was for non-missile purposes and -- non-military purposes. We view it as a missile, not a space launch vehicle. It's not designed for that.
And then they say it's successful. We're analyzing the data from the launch, and we'll be able to tell you more on that. But I just -- I'd say, you know, be careful when we get public announcements like this, when they get two things so clearly wrong, that we're not swallowed up with the rest of it as well.
Teheran probably has a small number of Shahab-3s available for use in a conflict, and it has announced that production and deployment has begun. In fact, it's even displayed three Shahab-3s along with a mobile launcher and other ground support equipment. That display even had a range and a payload size on it, and it's not what I would consider to be a non-military display.
Iran's public statements suggest that it plans to develop longer range delivery systems. Although Teheran stated that the Shahab-3 is Iran's last military -- at that point, they stated it -- missile, we are concerned that Iran will use future systems in a military role.
Iran's defense minister announced the development of the Shahab- 3, originally calling it a more capable ballistic missile than the Shahab-3, but later categorizing it as a space launch vehicle with no military applications. Teheran also mentioned plans for the Shahab-5, strongly suggesting that it intends to develop even longer range systems in the near future.
Iran has displayed a mock-up satellite and space launch vehicle, suggesting it plans to develop a vehicle to orbit Iranian satellites. However, Iran, like any other country, could convert a space launch vehicle into a missile without -- by developing a re-entry vehicle for it.
Foreign assistance continues to be a problem. Entities in Russia, North Korea, and China supply the largest amount of ballistic missile related goods, technology, and expertise to Teheran.
Let me walk through where we are with the threats. And I'm going to -- last year's threat assessment walked country by country. Since we're looking at a specific country, I'm going to walk through time blocks, and I'll start with today and then look five years out and five years out.
Today, we judge that, like many others, Iran views its regional concerns as a primary factor in tailoring its military programs. Teheran sees its short and medium range missiles not only as deterrents but force multiplying weapons of war.
On the 15th of July, they conducted the second test of the Shahab-3, and, of course, today, the third. We assess that Iran's interest in eventually developing an ICBM and space launch capability has not changed.
In the 2001 to 2005 timeframe, we believe that Iran is more likely to develop an intermediate range ballistic missile based on Russian technology before developing an ICBM based on that technology, because of the regional concerns I mentioned earlier. And Iran could test an IRBM, intermediate range missile, before the end of this five- year period.
Now, let me talk a little bit about what we say Iran could do and then talk about what they can likely do. We have both judgments, just like we did in last year's estimate.
Some analysts believe that Iran could test an ICBM or space launch vehicle patterned after the North Korean Taepo Dong-1 in the next few years. Such a system would be capable of delivering biological or chemical payloads to the United States. Nevertheless, all assess that Iran would be unlikely to deploy an ICBM version of the Taepo Dong-1. It just doesn't serve all of their needs.
Most believe that Iran could develop and test a three-stage Taepo Dong-2 type ICBM during this same timeframe, possibly with North Korean assistance. It would be capable of delivering a nuclear weapon size payload to the United States.
A few believe that the hypothetical routes toward an Iranian ICBM are less plausible than they appeared in our analysis last year and believe that Iran will not be able to test any ICBM during this time period. So, last year, we had agreement on what Iran could do, and now we have even some disagreement on the could.
Now more on the likelihood judgments. Some believe that Iran is likely to try to demonstrate a rudimentary ICBM booster capability as soon as possible, and that a Taepo Dong type system tested as a space launch vehicle would be the shortest path to that goal. Others believe that Iran is unlikely to test any ICBM during this period.
Now let's shift to the next five years, 2006 to 2010. Most believe that Iran will likely test an IRBM, probably based on Russian assistance, during this period. All assess that Iran could test an ICBM that could deliver nuclear weapon size payloads to many parts of the United States in the latter half of the next decade, using Russian technology obtained over the years.
Some further believe that Iran is likely to test an ICBM before 2010. Others believe there's no more than an even chance of an ICBM test before 2010, and a few believe that Iran is unlikely to test an ICBM before 2010.
So you can see when we start looking at likelihoods, we get a spectrum of views. Nevertheless, most agree that Iran is likely to test a space launch vehicle by 2010, and, as I indicated earlier, such a space launch vehicle could be converted into an ICBM. A few believe that such a test is still unlikely before 2010.
Now let's look at the 2011 to 2015 time period. Most believe that Iran is likely to test an ICBM possibly as a space launch vehicle before 2015. Some believe, in fact, that this is very likely. A few believe that there's less than an even chance of a test of Iranian ICBM by 2015.
Sales of ICBM space launch vehicles which have inherent ICBM capabilities could increase the Iranian ability to threaten the United States with a missile strike sooner than we've laid out here. North Korea has demonstrated a willingness to sell its missiles and technologies and could continue doing so perhaps under the guise of selling space launch vehicles.
We judge that a Russia or China sale of an ICBM or SLB in the next 15 years is unlikely, although the consequences of such sales, especially if it were mobile, would be extremely serious. Some countries, perhaps including Iran, probably have devised other means for delivering weapons of mass destruction to the United States, some cheaper and more reliable than missiles that we have talked about here.
The goal would be to move the chemical or biological weapon closer to the United States without needing a missile to do it. Now, you could either build the weapon in the United States and use it in the United States, or you could bring a ship with a shorter range system like a scud strapped to the ship close to the United States and strike. It would have reduced accuracy, but the reduced accuracy would be better than some of the ICBMs that we've even discussed here.
Many of the countries, such as Iran, probably will rely initially on readily available technologies to develop penetration aids and counter measures, and in last year's report, we listed a whole bunch of counter measure technologies that would be readily available, so I won't go into that list here. But they could develop counter measures based on those technologies by the time they flight test their missiles. More advanced technologies would take longer.
Let me turn now to Norman Schindler to -- he's, as you indicated, deputy director of the Non-proliferation Center -- to discuss Iran's programs to develop weapons of mass destruction. And after he goes through his opening remarks, then we'd be prepared to answer questions on the whole thing.
COCHRAN: Thank you, Mr. Walpole.
Mr. Schindler, welcome. You may proceed.
Deputy Director of the Non-proliferation Center
SCHINDLER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As Mr. Walpole indicated, I will provide a summary of Iran's WMD program. The program is designed to produce the weapons to be delivered by the missile systems that Mr. Walpole described, as well as by other delivery means.
The Iranians regard these as extremely sensitive programs and go to great lengths to hide them from us. As a result, our knowledge of these programs is based on extremely sensitive sources and methods. This precludes me, as Mr. Walpole indicated earlier, from providing many details, but we hope the summary will nonetheless be useful, and we would be prepared to elaborate in greater detail on all of these issues in a classified setting.
Mr. Chairman, I'd like to begin with a few comments on Iran's nuclear and nuclear weapons program. The intelligence community judges that Iran is actively pursuing the acquisition of fissile material and the expertise and technology necessary to form the material into nuclear weapons.
SCHINDLER: As part of this process, Iran is attempting to develop the capability to produce both plutonium and highly enriched uranium. Iran is seeking nuclear related equipment, material, and technical expertise from a variety of foreign sources, especially in Russia.
Teheran claims that it is attempting to master nuclear technology for civilian research and nuclear energy programs. However, in that guise, it is developing whole facilities, such as a uranium conversion facility, that could be used to support the production of fissile material for a nuclear weapon.
Despite international efforts to curb the flow of critical technologies and equipment, Teheran continues to seek fissile material and technology for weapons development and has established an elaborate system of covert military and civilian organizations to support its acquisition goals.
Cooperation with foreign suppliers is helping Iran augment its nuclear technology infrastructure which, in turn, will be useful in supporting nuclear weapons research and development. The expertise and technology gained, along with the commercial channels and contacts established, even from cooperation that appears strictly civilian in nature, could be used to advance Iran's nuclear weapons expert.
Case in point -- work continues on the construction of a 1,000 megawatt nuclear power reactor at Bushehr that will be subject to IAEA safeguards. This project will not directly support a weapons effort, but it affords Iran broad access to Russia's nuclear industry in the process.
We also have evidence that Russian entities are interacting with Iranian nuclear research centers on a wide variety of activities beyond the Bushehr project. Many of these projects also have direct application to the production of weapons grade fissile material.
China pledged in 1997 not to engage in any new nuclear cooperation with Iran, but said it would complete two ongoing projects. One of those, a small research reactor, has since been completed, and progress is still being made on a zirconium production facility that Iran will use to produce cladding for nuclear fuel. It's our assessment that China is abiding by its pledge not to engage in new nuclear activity with Iran.
Mr. Chairman, the intelligence community continues to monitor developments in the Iranian nuclear program and nuclear energy program very carefully. We regularly provide classified assessments of the progress that Iran is making to the administration, to U.S. war fighters, and to the Congress as a result of the importance of this issue. However, we are reluctant to provide additional details in an unclassified setting as to what time lines we believe exist for the Iranians to develop a nuclear weapon.
I'd like to turn now to Iran's chemical warfare program, which is one of the largest in the third world. Iran launched its offensive CW program in the early 1980s in response to Baghdad's use of CW during the Iran-Iraq war.
We believe the program remains active despite Teheran's decision in 1997 to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention. Iran has a large and growing CW production capacity and already has produced a number of CW agents, including nerve, blister, choking, and blood agents. We believe, in addition, that it possesses a significant stockpile of weaponized and bulk agents, and we think that this amounts to actually several thousand tons.
Teheran's goals for its CW program for the past decade have been to expand its production capability and stockpile, reach self- sufficiency by acquiring the means to manufacture chemical production equipment and precursors, and to diversify its CW arsenal by producing more sophisticated and lethal agents and munitions.
Teheran continues to seek production technology, training, expertise, and chemicals that could be used as precursors from entities in Russia and China. It also seeks through intermediaries in other countries equipment and material that could be used to develop more advanced and self-sufficient CW infrastructure.
Thus far, Iran remains dependent on external suppliers for technology, equipment, and precursors. However, we judge that Teheran is rapidly approaching self-sufficiency and could become a supplier of CW related materials to other nations.
Iran's BW program also was initiated in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war. The program is in the late stages of research and development, but we believe Iran already holds some stocks of BW agents and weapons. Teheran probably has investigated both toxins and live organisms as BW agents, and for BW dissemination could use many of the same delivery systems such as artillery and aerial bombs that it has in its CW inventory.
Iran has a technical infrastructure to support a significant BW program. It conducts top-notch legitimate biomedical research at various institutes, which we suspect also provides support to the BW program.
Teheran is expanding its efforts to acquire biotechnical materials, equipment, and expertise from abroad, primarily from entities in Russia and western Europe. Because of the dual use nature of the equipment, Iran's ability to produce a number of both veterinary and human vaccines also gives it the capability to produce BW agents. At the same time Teheran continues to develop its BW capability, it is a party to the biological weapons convention.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, I'd like to say a few words about Iran's motivations for pursuing its WMD programs. We assess that Teheran, no matter who is in power, will continue to develop and expand its WMD and ballistic missile programs as long as it perceives threats from the United States, from U.S. military forces in the gulf, a nuclear armed Israel, and Iraq. In addition, the deterrence posture or prestige factor associated with some of these programs are probably viewed by Iranian leaders as a means to achieve their goals of becoming the predominant power in the region.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes our prepared statements. We'd be delighted to attempt to answer your questions.
COCHRAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Schindler and Mr. Walpole. Let me ask you, first of all, about the announcement that you commented on of Iran's minister of defense about the Shahab-3 test firing that occurred earlier today.
You told us to be cautious, and that there were some errors in this announcement. One other thing occurs to us, and that is that there was a lag of about two years between the first and second Shahab-3 test, but a lag of only two months between the second test and today's third test.
Is there any significance to the fact that Iran is decreasing the amount of time between the tests of its Shahab-3 missile?
WALPOLE: Oh, I'm not sure I would read anything into that. I've worked with flight test programs in various countries in the past and tried to see if I could divine anything from that, and it's very hard to do, to pin down what's happening. As we've said in open session before, Iran procured No-Dongs, and then sought Russian assistance to modify that into the Shahab-3, which is a little different approach than Pakistan used to get the Ghauri, which is also a No-Dong. They didn't mind trying to change it. They just decided to change its name and buy them outright.
And so when they're doing that type of development effort, it really depends on how they want to push each individual window to get the system to work. So I'm not sure that I would read the difference in time between today's launch and the July launch as indicating that anything has sped up, because we could go another two years before we see another launch, and you wouldn't have me here saying that they've slowed down just because there was a delay in it. So I would be careful about that.
COCHRAN: There's been some suggestion that because there have been some so-called moderates elected to office in Iran that Iran is changing. Does this affect the weapons of mass destruction and missile programs at all? Who actually controls these programs?
WALPOLE: Well, as Mr. Schindler said toward the end of his remarks, and I said kind of up front in mine, there is the potential for change. But we don't see this altering the interest in weapons of mass destruction and the interest in missile programs to deliver them.
The threats aren't going to go away. Iraq isn't going to go away. Their perception of Israel isn't going to go away, even if relations change with the United States.
That said, we do factor those types of changes into our assessments. And when you do missile assessments, or almost any WMD assessment, you have to project many years out. Some of these missile programs can take a long time to develop. That's why we force ourselves to project 15 years out, knowing that there's great uncertainty in what things are going to look like 15 years out.
At the same time, we're mandated by Congress to do an annual assessment of the missile threat. So if we see a change occur in the government in Iran that would cause us to alter that judgment, we'll let you know about it. But at this point, we're still holding firm to where we are with the judgment that probably Iran in -- between now and the next 15 years.
COCHRAN: A specific question as a follow-up on that subject is whether the election of President Khatemi has made any substantial change in the program, and has he made any statements publicly, to your knowledge, in support of Iran's missile program?
SCHINDLER: I can read a statement that he gave on the 1st of August in 1998, and that is "The strategic status of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the world and in the region, in the Middle East, in particular, demands that we have a strong military capability." It goes on to say, "Defending oneself and deterring others from committing aggression is the most important right of every country."
We really have no indications that his threat perception really differs from those of other factions at this point or that there has been any significant change for the better in any of the key programs.
WALPOLE: And with the Shahab-3 launch in July, '98, and then two in 2000, I think actions speak louder than words on the missile program.
COCHRAN: So there hasn't been any change in the pace of the Iranian ballistic missile program since his election.
COCHRAN: It hasn't slowed down.
WALPOLE: Let me phrase it this way. Any slowdown in the program, I don't think we'd attribute to political, but rather to technical issues. We're still seeing the program proceed.
COCHRAN: Has there been any indication of any desire on President Khatemi's part to stop the missile program or any of the weapons programs?
WALPOLE: Not that I've detected.
COCHRAN: Mr. Schindler?
SCHINDLER: Not that I'm aware of, either.
COCHRAN: What about the parliament in Iran? We've heard that there have been some newly elected reformers in the parliament. Do they have any authority over Iran's ballistic missile program, and have they exercised any effort, to your knowledge, to make any changes in those programs?
WALPOLE: I'm not aware of any efforts exercised to change the programs, and, as I said before, we're seeing the programs proceed.
COCHRAN: From your statement, Mr. Walpole, there appears to be a debate within the intelligence community about when Iran will be capable of testing an ICBM. There are differences of opinion, at least, if not a debate. How difficult is it for analysts to predict accurately how rapidly a country can acquire long range missile capability?
WALPOLE: Predicting how long it would take them from the could perspective, the technical capability perspective, is a lot easier than what's likely to happen. What we did last year was brought a bunch of U.S. weapons experts, designers and so on, together to help us sort out time lines on how quickly a country could, so that we could have some benchmarks to run through.
That was fairly easy, once we got that input, to look at the data that we had on Iran, and then decide how quickly they could do certain things. When we started to overlay the likely judgments, that is, political factors -- do we really think they would push this program, would they do an IRBM program first, which we all judge they would anyway, an intermediate range program first -- then you start to get a whole lot more difference of view, because it's not just physics, it's not just science. Now you're factoring a lot of other issues together.
But we even had some differences of view surface this year on the could, in terms of how quickly they could do some of these better longer range systems. Intelligence work is -- you get the data and you try to put it together to come up with the answer, but we're not getting revelation intelligence here. We're still -- there's uncertainties, and where there's uncertainties, it's open for disagreement.
I view disagreement as healthy. It shows that we're actually thinking through the issues.
COCHRAN: Can you make any judgment about the way foreign assistance appears to have moved the Shahab-3 program along faster than the intelligence community expected? In other words, do you think it would be prudent for policy makers, those deciding what steps to take to protect against possible threats, to plan on Iran having an ICBM capability sooner rather than later?
WALPOLE: Foreign assistance, particularly Russian assistance, indeed, accelerated the Shahab-3 program for Iran, and we have taken that acceleration, if you will, into account in our judgments for how quickly they could and are likely to be able to develop an ICBM. So we've already done that in our assessments.
COCHRAN: According to your testimony, Iran receives foreign assistance from a number of sources for its ballistic missile program. How significant is foreign assistance to Iran's programs?
WALPOLE: I would say that foreign assistance is, indeed, significant. We had complete CSS-8s sold from China. We had the Shahab-3 sold from North Korea. We had Russian assistance in developing the Shahab-3 and in developing other capabilities.
So the foreign assistance has been critical. If we were to hypothesize that foreign assistance would cease right now, completely, I still think we would have concerns with Iran's missile program. I don't think the program would dry up.
COCHRAN: Do you think...
WALPOLE: It would take them longer than we've put together here, but they would still have -- be able to get missiles.
COCHRAN: So foreign assistance would accelerate Iran's efforts to build long range ballistic missiles, in your opinion. Is that correct?
WALPOLE: Foreign assistance will continue to accelerate it.
COCHRAN: It will continue to accelerate it.
WALPOLE: Yes. We've factored it in. If you ended foreign assistance today, you would see some of our time lines shifting back a little, but you wouldn't see them move forward because of foreign assistance.
COCHRAN: Could the assistance help Iran build more technologically advanced missiles than they might otherwise be able to do?
WALPOLE: Yes. In fact, that's why, in my statement, you see me talk about missiles patterned after the Taepo Dong system, and then missiles drawing upon Russian assistance. And the missiles drawing upon Russian assistance are going to be better.
COCHRAN: Could this foreign assistance result in Iran becoming self-sufficient in the design and development or eventually reduce Iran's need for foreign assistance?
COCHRAN: What is the effect of Iran's relationship with North Korea on Iran's interest in developing an intercontinental ballistic missile?
WALPOLE: The effect of...
COCHRAN: The effect of their relationship with North Korea.
WALPOLE: On their interest?
COCHRAN: Yes, on Iran's interest and their work in developing an intercontinental ballistic missile.
WALPOLE: I think it's been an influence in their work. I think their interest in developing a ballistic missile capability is a regional interest, first and foremost, and so I'm not sure North Korea really plays heavily in that other than supplying technology that would help them fulfill that interest.
COCHRAN: Do you have any evidence that North Korea would be willing to sell the Taepo Dong-2 or the three-stage Taepo Dong-1 to Iran?
WALPOLE: I'm not sure that that's something that we'd want to go into in open session, and I don't mean to imply that we have evidence. It's just that evidence of impending transfers is something that I would rather not go into there.
I made the statement in my opening remarks that North Korea has exhibited a willingness to share missile technology abroad and might even try to do that under the guise of space launch vehicles, and let's just let that be the answer unless you feel...
SCHINDLER: That's all we can say.
COCHRAN: Should the United States expect to see any real technological lag in missile capabilities between the two countries, Iran and North Korea?
WALPOLE: Well, right now, North Korea, although it was a failed attempt, has tried to put a satellite into orbit, and Iran is not there. So you have somewhat of a lag, but I wouldn't read a whole lot into that, because I don't think -- I think Iran is getting some assistance from Russia that, in some ways, would make them better able to develop some systems.
COCHRAN: The unclassified summary of the 1999 National Intelligence Estimate states that a three-stage Taepo Dong-2 launched from North Korea could deliver a several hundred kilogram payload anywhere in the United States. What kind of weapons of mass destruction payload could reach the United States on a three-stage Taepo Dong-2 launched from Iran, and how much of the U.S. could Iran reach?
WALPOLE: I'll have to think of the ranges. North Korea, of course, is -- they're closer to be able to reach the United States. The range isn't as far.
Iran, with a three-stage Taepo Dong-2, would be able to deliver a several hundred kilogram payload to parts of the United States. I'm not sure it would reach all of the United States. I don't have the charts to tell me that, but because of the range differences there, I'm not sure that it would, and it would -- what we were postulating in that estimate was a third stage that wouldn't give it any accuracy. In fact, it would be a highly inaccurate system.
COCHRAN: You indicated that Pakistan seems to have purchased a missile from North Korea, the No-Dong, and Iran has used that missile from -- that same missile from North Korea, improved it with Russian assistance, and given it a new name. Iran appears to have used Russian and Chinese assistance to modify the missile.
Is that what you said, or did you say they just changed the name to the Ghauri?
WALPOLE: No. Pakistan basically bought the No-Dong and changed the name. Iran has wanted to modify the missile.
COCHRAN: OK. And have they used Russian and Chinese assistance to modify the missile? I think you said they...
WALPOLE: I said Russian assistance.
SCHINDLER: I think we would want to discuss that in closed session. We've delivered some briefings recently in classified sessions where we've discussed that issue in detail.
COCHRAN: What is the reason for the difference between the Iranian and Pakistani approaches?
WALPOLE: I could only speculate, but it appears that Iran wants to develop a basis to be more self-sufficient and understand the systems themselves, and Pakistan is more interested in having the systems.
COCHRAN: Do you expect that Iran wouldn't purchase a complete ballistic missile system from North Korea if they wanted to field a system quickly? Would they use that as a resource, if they wanted to field a system quickly, to just purchase the total system from North Korea? Is that unlikely?
WALPOLE: If they felt they needed one more quickly than they could develop one themselves, then they could try to buy one, absolutely.
COCHRAN: We've also heard a lot about Russia's assistance to the Iran programs in not only ballistic missiles, but weapons of mass destruction programs. The unclassified report to Congress on proliferation states that Russian assistance to Iran accelerated the development of the Shahab-3 medium range ballistic missile. How did this assistance accelerate the program?
WALPOLE: Again, looking at -- of course, that's your report. I'll let you comment more on it, but just looking at the two scenarios that we just discussed briefly, one is a complete purchase. Obviously, they can buy the No-Dong, label it, and fly it, and then there's no acceleration there.
So the acceleration we're talking about is accelerating Iran's program to get a 1,300 kilometer range missile from what they would have done had they tried it completely on their own. And so that's the -- it's not an acceleration compared to a complete sale.
COCHRAN: Would you expect continued Russian assistance to help accelerate Iran's longer range ballistic missile programs?
WALPOLE: I would.
SCHINDLER: I would, too. I would just add that in terms of the Russian assistance that we've seen in recent years, it's been pretty much across the board in terms of providing training for personnel, assisting them in testing components, but also provision of some components.
COCHRAN: In addition to its apparent desire to develop ICBMs, Iran claims it is developing a space launch vehicle. The unclassified summary last year states that Iran will probably test a space launch vehicle with ICBM capabilities within the next few years. Would an Iranian space launch vehicle provide Iran with an initial ICBM threat availability based on the criteria you used in the National Intelligence Estimate?
WALPOLE: A space launch vehicle and a missile are essentially the same. The difference is one is intended to put a payload into orbit. The other is intended to put a payload onto the ground.
And so what you need is a re-entry vehicle, a vehicle capable of re-entering the atmosphere and not burning up, so that if Iran develops a space launch vehicle, it would be capable of delivering payloads, if they developed a payload, to points on the earth. Now, a Taepo Dong-1 is so range payload limited that if Iran had a Taepo Dong-1 space launch vehicle, it would be able to deliver very, very small payloads to the United States as an ICBM. That's why I had said in my opening remarks that we judged they were unlikely to develop that as an ICBM. It just is too limited. But the capability to deliver a payload with a space launch vehicle is pretty well inherent.
COCHRAN: I think this should be directed to you, Mr. Walpole, but Mr. Schindler can respond as well. We took a trip in April to Moscow, and we had a meeting with the first deputy minister of atomic energy, Evanoff (ph), and we asked him about the Iranian assistance that was being provided -- assistance to Iran's nuclear weapons program. He said that there was no Russian assistance to that program.
Do you agree with that, or what is your reaction?
WALPOLE: My reaction is I'm not surprised, and I'll let Mr. Schindler add to that.
SCHINDLER: The position that many Russian officials take is that they are -- that Russian assistance is solely dedicated to civilian nuclear efforts in Iran. That said, we are concerned by the action -- by some of the dealings that some Russian entities have with Iran, and we have -- and the U.S. government has been attempting to sensitize Russian officials to a number of these cases, most recently one that was reported in the press with the Efremov Institute just this week.
COCHRAN: I read about that. That's near Saint Petersburg, that institute, and there was a transaction being planned.
SCHINDLER: There was some evidence that the Iranians were attempting to acquire a laser isotope...
COCHRAN: Right. That's right.
SCHINDLER: ... solely -- that could be used...
COCHRAN: And the whole point was that that would cost a lot more than you would spend if you were just developing a civilian nuclear power program.
SCHINDLER: It would be much...
COCHRAN: You could get the technology a lot more efficiently and in other ways and other sources or other procedures, right?
SCHINDLER: You would buy the low enriched uranium on the market.
COCHRAN: Well, what is your assessment, if you have one, of when Iran can have a nuclear weapon?
SCHINDLER: Mr. Chairman, we're very concerned about the fast pace of the Iranian nuclear program. We would like to avoid giving estimates in public as to when Iran might have a nuclear weapon. It depends on a number of variables, and these are all variables that we would be very pleased to elaborate on in a classified setting.
COCHRAN: Well, in the question of proliferation, where countries are supplying technology and assistance to Iran, what effect does this have on the intelligence community and its ability to provide advanced warning of Iran's long range ballistic missile program or WMD programs?
WALPOLE: If it's a complete sale, which I've indicated before was unlikely, but if a country were to sell Iran a complete ICBM, a mobile ICBM, we wouldn't be able to give a lot of warning of that.
COCHRAN: You would not?
WALPOLE: We would not. I mean, if we detected the negotiations for the sale or some indication that that was going on, then that would be your warning window. But if the sale were such that what you really detected was the delivery, or you detected them setting it up, that's not a lot of warning.
So a complete sale, we've said we would not be able to give a lot of warning on. If a country is developing an ICBM, if they're doing the testing program, even with assistance, even if they buy somebody else's components and try to reverse engineer them and so on, we can walk through that and give some warning.
If we look at the record of warning, the intelligence community first warned about a North Korean ICBM in 1994. They didn't test the Taepo Dong-1, which failed, until 1998.
Now, we were surprised that they put a third stage on the Taepo Dong-1, so I don't want to try to take credit for warning about what they would test, because if we were held to the standard that we would have to warn exactly what configuration was going to be tested five or 10 years from now, I'll get it wrong every time. If you ask me to warn that they're going to work on an ICBM, I'm probably going to be a little better at that.
Now, if we look at Iran -- your opening statement said something that kind of surprised me. You said that in 1995, we judged that they had neither the motivation nor the capability to develop an ICBM. I'll have to go back and re-look at 95-19, the famous NIE, but I think what it really was saying was that they wouldn't have it by 2010 -- is what that judgment was saying.
WALPOLE: We've been following Iran's missile programs for many years, and in the mid '90s, we began to get concerned about longer range programs for Iran. Even when 95-19 was written and we were looking at longer range programs, we didn't think they would get it at the time until after 2010.
So we've been warning about Iran looking at ICBMs for many years, too, and they still haven't tested one. So the warnings are there, but it is getting harder to warn what the systems are going to look like, because foreign assistance can help somebody change what a system will look like.
We don't know to this date, for example, if North Korea got foreign assistance with the third stage. We know they have the capability to put one together themselves. It was a very small third stage. But we don't know the answer to that question.
So there's a lot of unknowns that make this job hard. But I don't -- I guess what I'm saying is we don't want to say that we don't have the ability to warn. We can still provide a lot of warnings, but they're not going to be the refined warnings that some would be looking for.
COCHRAN: In connection with the chemical warfare and chemical weapons production capacity, in Mr. Schindler's testimony, you indicate that Iran has a large and growing production capacity and already has produced a number of CW agents. Didn't Iran sign the chemical weapons convention, and, if so, is this not a direct contravention of its chemical weapons convention obligation?
SCHINDLER: Mr. Chairman, the intelligence committee itself doesn't make compliance judgments, but, nonetheless, what I said in my statement is that they have a stockpile -- we assess that they have a stockpile and a significant production capability, which would appear to be inconsistent with the CWC.
COCHRAN: Well, can you speculate as to why Iran would sign the convention and then be in obvious violation, or if that's not an obvious violation? Is it an obvious violation?
SCHINDLER: Well, Iran may conclude that, given the nature of modern technologies, it can bury its CW capability in its industrial infrastructure and it won't be detected.
COCHRAN: Can Iran, if they wanted to, circumvent the chemical weapons convention by acquiring technologies and materials that are dual use in nature?
SCHINDLER: It could.
COCHRAN: What are the implications of this pattern of activity for its nonproliferation treaty obligations?
SCHINDLER: For its NPT?
COCHRAN: Right. Nuclear nonproliferation?
WALPOLE: What are the implications?
COCHRAN: It's a pattern of activity. Is that transferable to other obligations and other treaties?
WALPOLE: Well, we keep a close eye on all of Iran's activities and all of Iran's commitments relative to that. Because we see them doing things that are not consistent with one agreement, of course, we're going to keep a close eye on what they're doing in another area. Is that what you mean?
COCHRAN: Right. According to the unclassified report to Congress on proliferation, Iran has started supplying other nations with missile technology. In fact, in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, the director of the CIA, George Tenet, said, "Iran's existence as a secondary supplier of this technology is the trend that worries me the most."
Can you give us any information as to which nation or nations Iran is now supplying technology to?
SCHINDLER: I don't know if we can do that.
WALPOLE: Is that in your report?
SCHINDLER: We mentioned -- I don't think we can do that in open session.
COCHRAN: OK. Does the emerging trend of missile commerce between states like North Korea and Iran concern you as much as it does Director George Tenet?
WALPOLE: That one's easy. Give us more like that.
COCHRAN: If the U.S. has hardly affected missile proliferation by countries like Russia and China, how much do you expect we will be able to affect North Korea or Iranian missile exports?
WALPOLE: Well, I guess I have a little optimism in me. I like to always hold out the hope that we're going to be able to affect these countries.
Last year's missile estimate said that we expected North Korea was likely to test the Taepo Dong-2 in 1999, and they didn't do it because of some political deals that we have worked out. So I guess I like to hold hope that maybe we'll be able to work things out with North Korea to where they wouldn't test the Taepo Dong-2, and they wouldn't share technologies with others, and maybe down the road even do the same with Iran.
Now, while I hold out that hope, you can see that my projections are not driven away from where they are because of that hope. So it's kind of hard to answer that. I would like to see nonproliferation efforts succeed in stopping the programs, but we have to make projections where we see them falling. Our projections are that they're not going to stop the programs at this point.
COCHRAN: Mr. Schindler, anything to add on that subject from you?
SCHINDLER: I would just add that I think we would differentiate between Iran and North Korea in terms of the potential threat to U.S. in terms of them transferring missiles to other countries at this point in time, because the North Koreans are in the act of marketing effort, and their products are more tested, and so they are much more active there.
COCHRAN: Well, thank you very much. You have been a big help to our understanding of the situation, the nature of the threat, the development programs that are underway in Iran, the proliferation activity, the transfer to and from the country to the extent that these matters could be discussed in an open session, because we do have to make decisions on levels of funding of programs that are designed to protect against these threats and to try to help prevent proliferation with the use of the powers that our government can lawfully bring to bear on those issues.
So you've been a big help to us, and it's a very important undertaking for us to all understand what the facts are and what's going on. Thank you.
WALPOLE: Senator, if I could just add one more point to the last question and answer on the nonproliferation front, I'd like -- I keep reminding myself of this as well. The Condor-2 -- I don't know if you remember that one. That was a two-stage system being developed jointly by Iraq, Egypt, and Argentina.
That, we log in as a nonproliferation success. We actually stopped that program, and I'm glad we did. I wouldn't want to see Condor-2s all over the world today.
That's probably part of what's behind my optimism in that we have seen some successes in nonproliferation, and we need to continue to pursue those efforts to try to get them to work. But at the same time, we've got to make our projections based on where we think the trends are going.
COCHRAN: Thank you very much. We appreciate it. You may stand down.
We'll have our second panel come forward. We appreciate very much the cooperation and the presence of Dr. Stephen Cambone, Director of Research at the Institute for National Strategic Studies of the National Defense University here in Washington, accompanied by Mr. Michael Eisenstadt, who is the senior fellow of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Thank you both for being here. We appreciate your presence.
Dr. Cambone, you may proceed.
Director of Research,
Institute for National Strategic Studies of the
National Defense University
CAMBONE: Thank you, Senator. It is, of course, a pleasure for me to be here and an honor to appear before the committee, and I do have a prepared statement that, with your permission, I'd like to submit for the record and to just simply draw a few summary statements from it in the opening here, and then proceed to questions if you would like.
And let me preface my remarks by saying that what I have to say here are my views alone. I am an employee of the National Defense University, which is a government agency, and my views are my own and not theirs and do not represent anyone else at the university.
My remarks here today are built around what I anticipated that my friend, Bob Walpole, would have to say and having followed the way in which the NIEs have developed and, particularly, the latest set of comments in which the NIEs and the reports from the National Intelligence Council have begun to concentrate on what might be likely to happen, the motivations and the difficulties of assessing those motivations, particularly with respect to the Iranian program.
And so I attempted to build my remarks around that issue with the view that if we take Bob Walpole at his word, that warning has, indeed, been given by the intelligence community on the question of Iran, its ballistic missile programs, and its nuclear weapons programs. Then it seems to me it's time to heed that warning and to react accordingly, and so, if I may, I would like to briefly outline why I think we need to take seriously the pace and the direction of the Iranian program and then to outline a number of points where I think we need to begin to prepare to meet the consequences of that.
In my judgment, Iran now has the capability, with readily available foreign assistance, to develop and to deploy with little testing ballistic missiles with sufficient range to reach the United States. In assessing Iran's capability, we cannot discount the possibility that if it were to accept from foreign sources a fully developed system, that is, say, a three-stage Taepo Dong-2 from North Korea, it could go ahead and pose that threat to us, even without testing.
And the reason I make this point -- and I know it to be a controversial one -- is, again, recalling what Bob Walpole just told us, the North Koreans were preparing to test the Taepo Dong-2 in 1999, according to the sources that we have in the open. And so, therefore, this is a system that has been progressing over time, and we need to remind ourselves again that the Taepo Dong-1 was tested with three stages without ever having been tested prior to that.
So, you know, it's a case where I think we have to begin to lend some credibility to the proposition that transfers can occur and deployments made without the kind of testing that we would expect to see.
Second, there remains some uncertainty whether Iran now possesses or will soon possess nuclear weapons with which to arm its ballistic missiles. In my judgment, U.S. policy toward Iran should take as its point of departure the findings of the Rumsfeld Commission in 1998, and that was that by relying on foreign sources of fissile material, Iran could acquire nuclear weapons in one to three years, with a decision that they are essential to its security, and that, moreover, policy makers should assume that they, policy makers, are unlikely to know when or whether such a decision has been taken.
And so I do believe that we need to start reviewing closely, then, and revise as appropriate our policies in a way that reflect this new reality, and I believe the reality can be summarized in this way, that in a future crisis or conflict involving Iran, the United States will need to honor the threat -- an expression that one used to hear often and I think is useful in this case -- need to honor the threat Iran could pose to the interests of the United States.
Now, there are those who will argue that I am presenting a worst case scenario. They will make many arguments why Iran would not pursue a long range ballistic missile program, why it would not pursue an ICBM program, and so forth.
But it seems to me that the motivations and intentions of other countries are always difficult to assess, and this is especially true in the case of Iran, a nation with which, frankly, the United States has had little contact over the last 20 years and that is governed by a regime that is very different than our own. That said, U.S. policy makers should suppose, nonetheless, that the Iranians are no less capable of understanding the value of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles than are those who govern North Korea, who govern Pakistan, who govern India, and even Iraq.
Each of those nations has used its weapons programs to alter its strategic circumstances in significant ways, and I have no doubt that the Iranian leadership understands that it can make use of its ballistic missiles and nuclear weapon programs to change its strategic circumstances. In my prepared remarks, I have some description of what I think the changes are that they seek, and I'll skip over any detail, but mark three points.
First, they clearly are looking to deter outside intervention in its domestic and its national security affairs, and they intend to do that from nations nearby, like Iraq, nations at intermediate range, like Israel, and nations at longer range, like the United States.
Second, clearly, Iran wishes to establish itself as a leading power in the Middle East, Southwest Asia region, and they are having some effect in establishing themselves, and I think their ballistic missile and weapons programs have some measure of credit for the effect that they have had, and that it has become apparent that is the effect they have in establishing themselves, I think, prompted Secretary Cohen's comment in April of this past year toward the Gulf States when he was visiting that they, the Gulf States, should take care in trusting too much in the proposition that, quote, "Iran wants a peaceful and stable relationship with them."
CAMBONE: Third, I think Iran is definitely interested in reducing to a vanishing point the influence the United States has on the affairs of the region, and Iran's rising strength and confidence
CAMBONE: and Iran's rising strength and confidence, I think, has begun to persuade other states in the region that they need to begin assessing their own relationship with the United States as well. And I think we're in for a fairly rocky period of time with our relations in countries in that part of the world.
My prepared statement has a bit of history on the programs. I won't go through them with you here, except to come back to remind again of the quotation from the Rumsfeld Commission's report in '98 on their nuclear weapons program, and here let me quote it in full.
"The commission found that Iran has a nuclear energy and weapons program, which aims to design, develop, and, as soon as possible, produce nuclear weapons. The commission judges that the only issue as to whether or not Iran may soon have or already has a nuclear weapon is the amount of fissile material available to it. If Iran were to accumulate enough fissile material from foreign sources, it might be able to develop a nuclear weapon in only one to three years," end quote.
Now, of course, that turns on the question of the availability of fissile material. But we know there is an awful lot of fissile material available in this world.
We ourselves, the United States, has taken highly enriched uranium out of a former Soviet state. Britain joined with us in another effort to take it out of a second state, and we know that despite the efforts that have been undertaken in the context of the Nunn-Lugar effort to take care of loose nukes, a recent Washington Post article underscored how poorly that program is translating in Russia and how uncertain are the people who work in those programs in Russia that their future is in any way secure. And it only gives one cause to worry that transfers of technology, of information, of people, and maybe perhaps even of material is taking place, whether acknowledged or unacknowledged by the Russian government.
And we know that that kind of transfer is not unknown. There are persistent reports, for example, that China transferred material to Pakistan. Nor is diversion of material from civilian programs to clandestine programs unknown, as we find in Iraq and in North Korea. And then we have the case of South Africa, where we all, I think, found it interesting that they had a number of nuclear weapons in their arsenal.
Let me turn, then, to honoring the threat and conclude with six points where I think we ought to begin paying some attention. First, it seems to me we have to think about the posture of U.S. forces.
Constant attention is needed to maintain our capability to undermine the utility to Iran of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. This includes, but is not defined by, deployment of ballistic missile defenses in the region and to defend the American homeland as well.
It is also the case that the forces deployed by the United States in the region must assure Iran's neighbors, those that depend on us, that our forces can perform their assigned missions, including, if necessary, suppression of ballistic missile attacks.
Second, we have to take a new approach to stemming the supply of expertise, materials, and technology to Iran. Their programs are already well advanced.
As Bob Walpole told us, even if the foreign assistance were to end tomorrow, those programs would still be a matter of concern. Nonetheless, the Iranians continue to take in foreign assistance, and we have to find ways different than those we have practiced thus far to stem that proliferation.
Third, we need to begin worrying about the consequences for the remainder of the region of Iran's programs. We know that Iraq continues with its own programs. We know that Pakistan has one. We know that Saudi Arabia has ballistic missiles that it may soon need to replace. We know that the Israelis are keeping a very close eye on what is taking place in Iran. We know that Turkey is concerned about what is taking place in Iran.
And so as the Iranian program begins to take shape and become more apparent, we are going to see a reaction in the region, and we need to be prepared here in the United States to deal with that consequence.
Fourth, we have to talk with our European friends and allies. They are the object of a charmed (ph) offensive from Iran for Iran to gain legitimacy in the international arena. We clearly need to make clear to our European friends exactly how serious we take this threat and elicit their cooperation and assistance in dealing with it.
Fifth, it's time for us to do a net assessment of our interests in the Middle East, Persian Gulf, Southwest Asia region. Iran's emergence in diplomatic and economic terms, coupled with its advancing military capability on the conventional front plus its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program, turns it into a true strategic power in the region and one which we need to take into account in our policies in the region, and I don't think we do that sufficiently today.
And, last, we do have to look at U.S.-Iranian relations. This is probably the most difficult step for American political leaders to take. The memories of the 1979 hostage crisis, two decades of vilification, the toll taken by state sponsored terrorism, and the determination with which Iran seeks to displace the United States in the region make it difficult to come to this issue without grave reservations.
Nonetheless, there is change going on inside of Iran, and it ought to be in our interest to see that change continue. But we can't be misled by what is taking place, because what we are likely to see is an Iran which, while more popular in its government, will remain Islamic in its foundations.
And so while it appears to be and may, in fact, be in the eyes of its own people a democratic state, it is one which is very different than our own, with ambitions very different from ours. And so we need to approach it in a way that is -- that we are very careful not to transform ourselves into a demander of change, being willing to offer blandishments and rewards to Iran for their behavior, but rather to approach them from a position where each side is clear eyed in its interests, and we, for our part, are willing to sustain our position if, in fact, we find there is no basis for friendly agreement.
So let me conclude, then, that in the last five years, we have clearly witnessed the development of nuclear weapons programs and ballistic missile programs in Iran that provide it with the potential to threaten American interests. Iran's programs have been and remain dependent on foreign assistance, but that fact does not alter the conclusion that Iran could deploy in a relatively short time weapon systems that could threaten the American homeland.
Over the same period of time, they've been working insidiously to alter their position in the region and in the international system, and they are looking to establish themselves as a legitimate state in the international system, and this is not something we should overlook, because there is every prospect now that we will see in the near future what is considered to be a legitimate state in the international system, newly armed with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. And whether those nuclear weapons are acknowledged by Iran, whether they are admitted by us, or they are kept, as it were, in the basement, the pace of the -- the fact of their programs will change and has changed the Iranian strategic position, and it's one which it's time we, for our part, address directly.
COCHRAN: Thank you very much, Dr. Cambone.
Mr. Eisenstadt, we'll hear from you now. Thank you.
Washington Institute for Near East Policy
EISENSTADT: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I just want to thank you for inviting me here today to speak about this important topic. I will make a few comments based on my prepared statement, which I would like to submit for the record.
I thought I would talk today about policy approaches for dealing with proliferation in Iran, given that the other speakers have tended to focus on particular systems and capabilities. And what I thought I would do is discuss five policy approaches that have been used by the United States in the Middle East and elsewhere for dealing with proliferation and evaluate the utility and efficacy vis-a-vis Iran so that we can maybe draw some conclusions as to what's best and what maybe is not appropriate in dealing with the issue of Iranian proliferation.
These five policy approaches are, first, altering Iran's motivations to acquire missiles and WMD; two, influencing Iran's proliferation quest-benefit calculus; three, imposing quests and delays on its programs; four, strengthening deterrence; and, five, mitigating the impact of proliferation by encouraging political change in Iran. I will evaluate each of these now in turn.
In terms of altering motivations, would make first two points. First, Iran's interest in weapons of mass destruction predates the Islamic Republic. Under the monarchy, under the shah, Iran had a nuclear weapons program.
After the Islamic revolution, the Islamic Republic, first, in response to Iraqi chemical weapon use, pursued chemical and biological weapons, and then reactivated the nuclear weapons program. Whereas the shah was motivated mainly by his desire to make Iran a regional power, the Islamic Republic has been motivated by three factors, first, the desire for self-reliance, given the fact that they have been strategically isolated for the entire time that the Islamic Republic has existed; two, to transform Iran into a regional power; and, three, to strengthen Iran's deterrent capability.
Now, there are two main policy implications implicit in this assessment. First, Iran's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and missiles is not necessarily regime specific. In other words, even if the Islamic Republic were to be replaced by another regime, there is a good chance that they might still pursue WMD for various factors.
Second, Iran is developing weapons of mass destruction not just to deal with perceived threats, that is, for deterrence purposes, but for other factors as well. Now, this is important, because a lot of people, in dealing with Iran, tend to assume that its motivations are strictly defensive, and if we could deal with its defensive concerns, then the problem can be dealt with. And, usually, they put forward the idea of creating some kind of regional security system which will then enable Iran to divest itself eventually of its WMD.
My bottom line is if security concerns alone are so complex, I doubt that there's anything we can do to really modify them. But even if we could deal with them, there are other factors which will probably continue to motivate Iran in the direction of proliferation.
That's not to say that we should not try to lay the groundwork for a security framework in the region, because I think to the degree that that advances stability in the region, that's good, because you might then avoid conflicts that could lead to the use of WMD. But it's not a cure for Iranian proliferation.
Secondly, with regard to influencing the proliferation cost- benefit calculus of Iran, there is -- a number of people, again, have, I think, speculated incorrectly that somehow the reformers have less of a motivation to pursue WMD than the hard line conservatives, and that they could be influenced by a different calculus. I think, in general, I disagree with that.
First, from the little evidence that we have on the subject, Iran's leadership seems relatively united over the desirability of acquiring missiles and WMD, and I think, across the board, its leadership sees the possession of such weapons as a strategic imperative. However, I think it is possible that there might be differences within the leadership over the price that Iran might have to pay for going down the proliferation route down the road.
For instance, if they were to violate their NPT commitments and develop nuclear weapons or to be caught violating the chemical weapons convention, then economic sanctions could conceivably be slapped on the country, and I think the reformers are more concerned about relations with the west and about getting foreign investment, and, therefore, things that are of value to them can be harmed by Iran's pursuit of WMD. So there might be differences, whereas the conservatives are less concerned about Iran's relationship with the west, for instance.
On the other hand, I would just make this point, that, in general, in the Middle East, security concerns trump economic concerns. So even though I think maybe it's possible that some reformers might be agonized by this dilemma, at the end of the day, I think it's likely that they will go down the route of putting Iran's security interests over its economic interests.
But, nonetheless, I would just say there might be an opening here for the U.S. to explore, and certainly, you know, if given the opportunity down the road when we do enter into talks with the Iranians, we should explore this. But I'm not an optimist about the prospects of striking a deal.
Even if the reformers were to consolidate control over, you know, most of the levels of government in Tehran, I'm not sure there's a deal to be made there. But, again, it should be explored. I think more likely Iranians across the board will believe that they can go down the route of proliferation and not get caught, and they will be tempted to do so.
The third course of action is imposing quests and delays, and this is the approach that the U.S. government to date has placed the greatest emphasis on, and I think we've been fairly successful in imposing quests and delays on Iran's efforts to proliferate. And in order to accomplish this objective, we've used various traditional policy instruments, such as export controls, diplomatic demarcates of foreign countries, and economic sanctions.
And, again, as I said, I think we've been fairly successful in delaying Iran's proliferation as a result. You probably can't stop a determined proliferator, but delay -- if you can get delay, that's something.
And I would say some people tend to dismiss the importance of delay. Granted, I would prefer to halt rather than delay a program, but delay can have important benefits, in that it buys you time to develop counter measures to systems that the adversary is developing, such as missile defenses and the like.
In addition, it also is potentially a hedge against perhaps the reversion of Iran to a more aggressive foreign policy in the future. If this were to happen, delay at least will mean that they have fewer capabilities in their hand than they would have had otherwise had their programs not been delayed.
With regard to strengthening deterrence, I would say that, basically, deterrence lies at the heart of any effort to deal with a country of concern such as Iran that has already proliferated.
EISENSTADT: In the case of Iran, there's, I think, a widespread perception in some quarters that Iran is an irrational state or is undeterable, either because they're irrational or because they have a very high pain threshold.
I would disagree with that. In general, I think experience has shown that they -- although they do sometimes miscalculate, as all countries do -- and I think there's a greater tendency on Iran's part than other countries to do so -- in general, its decision makers do act in accordance with the rational calculus. And while in the early days of the revolution, they may have had a very high pain threshold, as a result of their experience in the Iran-Iraq war and the tremendous damage this did to their country, and as a result of the death of Ayatollah Khomeni, who really was probably the only person who could have inspired the Iranians to fight eight years against Iraq and take the losses they did take -- since the end of the Iran-Iraq war and the death of Khomeni, I think Iran, in terms of its ability to absorb losses, is much more of a normal state.
And I would just point to their very cautious behavior in '91 in not really actively intervening in the south of Iraq during the uprising for fear that they might get dragged into a quagmire and their behavior in the crisis with Afghanistan in 1998 to show that I think they've learned a lesson over the past and, as a result, they are a lot more cautious.
The bottom line is traditional -- we can use the traditional tools of deterrence, vis-a-vis, Iran in order to mitigate the implications of proliferation.
And, finally, I'd like to address the issue of mitigating the impact of proliferation through encouraging political change. And I would agree with what Steve said, that we have to do what we can in order to encourage political change in Iran as a way of mitigating proliferation, as well as for other general policy reasons.
Now, I would say we do have a very limited ability to influence domestic politics in Iran, though I think we can shape the political environment in which the domestic power struggle occurs. In the case of Iran, the goal of U.S. policy should be to encourage the evolution of the regime in the direction of greater openness, freedom, and moderation.
Domestic political change of this kind would hopefully result in a decline in radicalism abroad and more normal relations between Tehran and its neighbors, although I have no doubt that still relations between Iran and its Arab neighbors, between Iran and the U.S., will be characterized by tension, and relations between Iran and Israel will still be characterized by hostility. But it will be, I think, a better situation -- at least a marginally better situation than the one we are in now and that we found ourselves in past years.
Now, operationally, what this means is supporting the Iranian people in their struggle for greater freedom while avoiding tainting particular Iranian personalities or movements with a potentially fatal U.S. embrace, promoting contacts between the American and Iranian peoples, people to people contacts, seeking an official dialog with Tehran which is the only way in which the issue dividing the two governments, including weapons of mass destruction proliferation, can be resolved, and continuing to highlight the connection between U.S. sanctions and Iranian policy in the three traditional areas of concern, which are terrorism, Iran's support for violent opponents of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and weapons of mass destruction.
Bottom line, until Iranian policy changes in these three areas, sanctions that restrict Iran's ability to raise hard currency to fund its missile and WMD programs should remain in place.
So, by conclusion, let me just review my main points. First, the U.S. is unlikely to succeed in altering the range of Iranian motivations for acquiring WMD.
Second, there is probably not much that the U.S. can do to alter the proliferation cost-benefit calculus of Tehran. While there might eventually be a slender chance for a deal with Tehran wherein Iran agrees to fulfill its arm control obligations in a verifiable fashion in return for the easing or lifting of sanctions by Washington, this remains an untested proposition, and I am personally skeptical of the prospects for such a tradeoff.
Third, Washington has had much success in imposing quests and delays on the WMD programs of Tehran through traditional arms control instruments and economic sanctions, and these should continue for as long as Iran remains committed to acquiring WMD. Time gained should be used to develop counter measures to emerging threat capabilities and to encouraging political change in Tehran in order to help mitigate the risks of proliferation.
Fourth, given that missile and WMD proliferation by Iran is a reality, the U.S. will have to continue to rely on deterrence in dealing with this threat while developing the means to fight in a WMD environment should deterrence fail.
And, then, finally, encouraging political change in Tehran might help mitigate the problem of WMD proliferation to Iran, but it is unlikely to solve it. Even if Iran's policies in many areas were to change for the better from the point of view of the U.S. in the coming years, Tehran's WMD capabilities are likely to be the greatest long- term obstacle to more normal relations between the U.S. and Iran.
I look forward to your questions, sir.
COCHRAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Eisenstadt, Dr. Cambone. The question of the weapons programs and missile programs in Iran brings into focus the effort that we have of developing counter measures, ballistic missile defense, for example, the national missile defense program.
What is your assessment of the efficacy of the Clinton administration's national missile defense architecture, the single site for its interceptors, given the pace of the programs in Iran and in North Korea, considering those two? What is your reaction to that, Dr. Cambone?
CAMBONE: In my view, Senator, any deployment of a ballistic missile defense for the United States has got to be able to defend us from an attack from either the Asian sector or from the Middle East- Southwest Asia sector, that is, from either our west or east. And it has to have the capacity to deal with the types of counter measures that one can assume that these countries will make an effort to develop. Their success in developing them will be told when we see them, to be sure, but, nonetheless, we have to be prepared for a set of counter measures as well.
And, so, therefore, a single site in Alaska is insufficient to meet the kind of warning that I think we have been given with respect to the program in Iran.
COCHRAN: How sophisticated do you view the ballistic missile infrastructure in Iran compared with other states, such as North Korea or Iraq?
CAMBONE: Well, I would think that it's fair to say that they're certainly different. The Iraqi infrastructure has been knocked around a bit, both in the Gulf War and then subsequently in Desert Fox, I think it was. But they are, nonetheless, still working on much shorter range systems that are permitted under the UN sanctions, resolutions, and so forth.
The North Korean structure is, from what we know of it, one that has been designed to turn out what appear to be increasingly upgraded and extended ranges of what is basic technology in a scud class and so on, with the add mixture of some solid rocket motor capabilities evidenced by the effort to put the third stage in orbit.
The Iranian program at least is -- again, as far as one knows from the open sources, has sort of three dimensions to it. One is the scud related effort, which is evidenced by the Shahab-3 program.
The second is the assistance that has come from the Russians in the form of what is thought to be technology related to Russian SS-4, SS-5 type missile systems. And then there are also hints that there are solid rocket motor capabilities that the Iranians are developing as well.
That's why I was intrigued by the report that the Shahab-3 had both liquid and solid propellant or fuel or something. I don't know what that means. You can ask the fellows behind me. They may know far better than me. But the point is that the Iranians have a multitude of options to pursue, which accounts, in fact, for the multitude of paths which the intelligence community is prepared to lay out for them to pursue.
So, on the whole, I think you can deduce that it is a fairly large infrastructure and one that is potentially capable of very sophisticated capability.
COCHRAN: Do you think Iran can become self-sufficient in the development of long range ballistic missiles?
COCHRAN: What impact would continuing foreign assistance have on their ballistic missile programs?
CAMBONE: That foreign assistance has been there in certain respects from the very beginning. The Iranians had gotten their original missile systems from the North Koreans. They didn't make them on their own.
They have turned to the North Koreans for assistance initially in developing those systems and for supplying additional systems like the No-dongs. They have turned to the Russians and apparently to the Chinese for some assistance in their other programs.
So the assistance is embedded in their programs. They are clearly looking to become independent of that foreign assistance. I can't judge, Senator, because I haven't got any information different than what I can find in the press whether they have crossed the threshold of being self-sustaining on their scud-based systems or not.
My guess is there is no reason why they can't be pretty close. They've been at this now for the better part of a decade, and, by now, I would think that they're pretty close.
COCHRAN: What do you see the political changes bringing to Iran's weapons programs? Are these changes occurring, more democratization, so-called, of the political system? Can we expect any change to flow from that to the military and the weapons programs and ballistic missile programs?
CAMBONE: No, I don't think so. The statements that have been made by public leaders in Iran indicate that they are squarely behind those programs, irrespective of whether they sit on either side of the political fence.
COCHRAN: Earlier this year, there was a press article which reported that North Korea had transferred missile engines to Iran for the Shahab-3 program. This appears to be different from the usual missile development process, which has been described as a hands-on process.
Do you have any views as to why Iran would purchase these engines if they could have produced them on their own?
CAMBONE: One can go through a lot of reasons. It may be that they have a short-term need for an engine and had airframes in which to put them and wished to be able to test something different than they have in development on their own. Some will argue, undoubtedly, that they are having trouble with their own programs, and that this is an indication that the effort to become self-sustaining and so forth is in trouble.
That's certainly a hypothesis. My own observation is that it's more worrisome to see them having done this, actually, because if it is possible for them to -- if, indeed, what they did was take engines they purchased and then, in a fairly short order, put them in an airframe and launch them, it suggests that they can get other engines of bigger and longer range missiles and put them in airframes and launch them.
So, I mean, there's -- you know, depending on how you look at this problem, I think that there is, in fact, a dark side to it and one that we need to be conscious of.
EISENSTADT: If I could, Mr. Chairman -- if I could just add something on this...
COCHRAN: Mr. Eisenstadt.
EISENSTADT: Thank you, sir. I would just add that one of the two main bottlenecks in the Iraqi program in the late '80s in their efforts to develop an indigenous scud knock-off was with the turbo pumps, which is an engine component, and, as far as we know, at least as of around Desert Storm, they never succeeded in mastering that.
Also, it seems that it's possible -- some people have speculated that when the Shahab-3 was first test launched in 1998, it made -- the engine may have blown up, and that may have been the cause of its destruction. So it's possible that they may have not have mastered, you know, all the engine components, and, therefore, that's why they still had to rely, at least as of last year, on the North Koreans for the engines. But who knows where they are right now.
COCHRAN: There have been some discussions going on, as we all know, between the U.S. and North Korea, trying to work out arrangements for a new energy program there and a transfer of energy resources so they won't have to have a nuclear reactor-based energy program, and opening up trade to make changes in the relationship. Has this led, in your view -- and I'll ask both of you that -- to any change in the relationship between North Korea and other states like Iran and their willingness to continue to sell WMD components or technology or missile systems? Have you seen any change, or is there any reason to believe that they won't continue to do what they've done in the past?
CAMBONE: Senator, I think you pointed at the evidence that, at least, the North Koreans are prepared to transfer engines despite that fact that, as last I looked, the talks were still ongoing and so forth. So I don't know why we should expect that the North Koreans will end those programs.
And I'm not sure we would know at this point, for example, how much inventory there is, how much they've already transferred elsewhere -- I mean, we know what we can see. We don't know what we don't know, and they've been a very active proliferant, haven't they? So there may be many more things they've already done that will come to light at a subsequent time.
COCHRAN: Mr. Eisenstadt?
EISENSTADT: I just would second what Dr. Cambone said, and I would also just add a point that you asked earlier about Iran becoming a secondary supplier, it's quite possible you have -- going back to North Korea you have a flow of information as well as technology. You know, the Iranians were involved at a very early stage in the No-dong program in terms of funding it, and it's quite possible that now, as part of the payoff, they might be providing the North Koreans with some of the technology they're getting from the Russians in order to help the North Koreans improve their original product. I'm simply speculating here, but I think this is just another angle that we should look at.
COCHRAN: Can you comment about the amount of time that the U.S. would have in terms of warning about Iran's possession of an ICBM?
CAMBONE: Senator, I think we've been warned. So my answer to that is the time's up.
COCHRAN: Mr. Eisenstadt?
EISENSTADT: I second that.
COCHRAN: The most recent unclassified report on proliferation says that Russian firms faced economic pressures to circumvent export controls and did so in some cases, and that they failed in some cases regarding Iran to enforce its export controls. Are Russian entities continuing to transfer ballistic missile technology to Iran despite the changes in Russian export control laws?
CAMBONE: I can't answer that with any certainty, Senator. I mean, I read the press along with you, and it appears that the relationship continues. The reports from the DCI (ph) and others suggest that the transfers continue.
COCHRAN: Mr. Eisenstadt?
EISENSTADT: What I would add to that is that we have this story that appeared just a couple of days ago about the laser isotope enrichment facility, and this is just as of a few days ago that finally -- at least, the Russians have told us that the sale is not going to go through. So I think this indicates that until now, this has been continuing.
And the only thing I would point out in addition to this, one can't help when looking at press accounts in the Russian press that there's a certain degree -- that this is not simply people freelancing, that there's a certain degree of culpability by various government agencies or collusion by various government agencies in this, in terms of facilitating the transfer of technology and information. So, that being the case, I would assume that these things would continue even if there are temporarily steps taken to deal with certain high priority cases that have become politically difficult or problematic.
COCHRAN: You wrote an article, Mr. Eisenstadt, for Survival Magazine, suggesting that because Iraq, having the capability of chemical and biological weapons, didn't succeed in deterring the U.S. from involvement in the Gulf War, that Iran may believe that in a confrontation with Washington, only a nuclear capability could enable it to avert defeat. Is that something you think we should consider likely, that Iran is going to develop that nuclear capability so it will be able to avert defeat?
EISENSTADT: I think that's one and perhaps one of the more important motivations on their part in pursuing nuclear weapons, but I think there's a whole cluster of motives here, as I said before. This is only one, and even if we could deal with this, address Iran's concerns on this issue, there are so many other motivations out there which I think are beyond our ability to influence that I think they would still continue to go down this road.
COCHRAN: I was at a conference recently on U.S.-Russia relations, and one of the participants, one of the scholars, suggested that the experience in Russia in Chechnya might very well have some spillover effects into other countries where there might be sympathies with the local Chechnyan population that has been hard pressed by the Russian military.
And we've all read of atrocities. There have been atrocities, I guess, on both sides, but, nonetheless, that's a very mean situation over there, and the question would be whether or not attention could be focused on Russia now from Islamic states or neighboring states or states in sympathy with the Chechnyan insurgence to the extent that Russia might have difficulties with Iran and others.
Do you see this as a problem and, thus, changing the relationships in the Middle East or the Near East?
EISENSTADT: Thus far, Iran, in its policy toward both Chechnya as well as central Asia, the newly independent states in central Asia as well, has generally subordinated ideology, it's commitment to Islamic solidarity, to its state interests. And its state interests are preserving its relationship with Russia, which, from their point of view, is -- at least as far as we can tell -- a strategic relationship.
It may not been seen as a strategic relationship in Moscow. I don't know. I don't know whether this is simply a cash earning enterprise or a way to cause problems for the U.S. or whether there is a strategic design here.
But for the Iranians, it is, I think, a strategic relationship, and from their point of view, they have deferred to Russian interests throughout central Asia and Chechnya, and, in fact, they've been almost completely silent -- they were almost completely silent throughout the war in Chechnya for that reason. So I don't see -- this has not yet become a problem in the relationship.
And even though the two countries have differences with regard to the division of the resources of the Caspian Sea, they haven't let this get in the way of the overall relationship, because each has other equities that are at stake here that are important to them.
COCHRAN: Dr. Cambone, you mentioned that Russia continues to provide Iran with nuclear assistance that could assist their nuclear weapons development programs. What do you think is the potential impact of this assistance to Iran's nuclear weapons programs?
CAMBONE: Well, Senator, I'll say again the finding or the judgment of the Rumsfeld Commission in 1998, in my view, stands, that with the access to fissile material, Iran could acquire, develop, possess a nuclear weapon in one to three years of a decision to do so, and that, undoubtedly, the assistance that they've gotten from others has aided in that endeavor. But, you know, I can't help but note that others bear culpability for the availability of the kind of information that a country like Iran makes use of.
And if it is true that, as someone testifying in the case in Albuquerque suggested, much of the material that was said to have been downloaded from secure computers at Los Alamos is available in the open literature, then we have a severe problem on our hands.
COCHRAN: There's a good deal of concern around the world about the escalating oil prices, and a lot of the oil that's produced comes from countries that we're talking about, Iraq and Iran, and others in the Middle East and Near East. What are the implications of the increases in oil prices on Iran's ability to acquire ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction technology, Mr. Eisenstadt?
EISENSTADT: Well, to the degree that a lot of what they're getting -- just about all of what they're getting is due to smuggling, or what are, you know, on the face of them, illegal transactions, money is basically the lubricant for all of these kind of activities. And the more money they have, the more they'll be able to engage in these kind of smuggling operations.
So I think -- and not only that, up until recently, they've had to focus their efforts because of lack of resources. They've had to prioritize their defense spending.
Defense spending, you know, in absolute terms, has been relatively small, and in relative terms, given a state the size of Iran, their defense spending has been relatively limited, and as a result, they've had to focus on specific narrow capabilities, whereas their preference would have been to have modernized across the board their military. Now I think there's a chance they might have greater opportunity to broaden their modernization efforts and to intensify their efforts to modernize their military capabilities in more areas than they have been able to until now.
COCHRAN: Dr. Cambone, do you have any comments or observations to make about -- any suggestions for changes in U.S. energy policy as a matter of national security interests?
CAMBONE: Well, Senator, I...
COCHRAN: Or is that too political?
CAMBONE: Well, no, I don't know. It just may be beyond -- energy policy, as such, is well beyond my ken. But it's clearly the case that the increase in oil prices have been of assistance not only to Iran, but to all -- I mean, to the Russians, to the Saudis, and not least of which, the Iraqis.
But I would like to focus, though, on the point that the Iranians have uncovered new oil and gas deposits. They are working very hard to establish a supplier relationship with India. They are working hard to protect their equities in the Caspian Sea. They clearly understand that there is money to be made here.
But not only is there money to be made, there is entree into the international system as a supplier of energy, and that's an important position for them to occupy in this effort to legitimize themselves in the international community. And so the -- sort of the longer range point, I think, would be not whether they can manage to keep oil prices high -- my guess is those prices will come down over time, just as pressures are put on all of the OPEC members -- more importantly is their establishment as a supplier in the system, which, in turn, then gives them that much more leverage on the politics in the region and with respect to western Europe and Japan. And that, I think, is an important development in its strategic evolution that we need to take into account.
COCHRAN: Very interesting and helpful comments from both of you. Your statements are appreciated. We appreciate your spending the time and making the effort to develop the presentations that we have asked for, and we think this will be very helpful to our better understanding of the situation in that part of the world and the proliferation issues that we face and the development of WMD programs in Iran, particularly, and we appreciate your being here.
Thank you very much. Our hearing is adjourned.