Press Briefing with State Department Deputy Spokesperson J. Adam Ereli on Shipment from Berlin to Iran (Excerpts)

April 28, 2005

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QUESTION: There was a report out of Berlin that a German crane is being shipped to Iran and specifically to an Iranian company that has been blacklisted and identified as a front for Iranian -- the Iranian military or military production. Do you know about this ship? Do you have any concerns about the shipment of the crane to this particular company? Is the U.S. Government considering doing anything to prevent the crane from being delivered to the company?

MR. ERELI: I don't have much I can tell you about this report, other than we're aware of the reports of this shipment. We certainly take seriously any report about potential proliferation concerns. Germany is a close partner in the proliferation security initiative. We work well with Germany in the context of that effort, but I don't have anything on this specific report for you.

QUESTION: So you don't -- you can't say whether or not you regard the delivery or possible delivery of this particular crane to the company, which I believe is Mizan Machine as a proliferation threat?

MR. ERELI: I just don't have the facts, so I don't want to speak to this particular report and speak to the specifics of this particular report. Obviously, when there are indications of incidents of proliferation concern, we take them seriously. I think that certainly is the case here. We follow it. We try to find the facts. But I don't have specifics on it that I can share with you.

QUESTION: Can you try to -- perhaps you have tried and have been told you can't share them with us, but could you try to get the specifics on whether Mizan Machine, the company, is under U.S. law or U.S. regulations, barred from receiving a shipment like this? And could you also try to check whether the U.S. Government, not just is aware of the report, but is actually tracking the ship itself? The kind of thing that you would do, I think, through the PSI.

MR. ERELI: I'll check.

QUESTION: Adam, same subject.

MR. ERELI: Same subject.

QUESTION: Are the EU-3 talks with Iran a failure because the Iranian Government is saying after Friday, it expects to go ahead with enrichment? And President Putin of Russia is on --

MR. ERELI: Let's stop there.

QUESTION: One --

MR. ERELI: Thank you. On the EU-3 talks, I haven't seen the statements from the Iranians that you referred to. There seem to be a never -- a consistent stream of statements with various comment on how the talks are going, where the talks are going, what the talks are going to lead to.

My answer to your question will be the same, which is that these are talks between the EU-3 and the Iranians. I'll leave it to the EU-3 to comment on or characterize how those talks are going. Our position is, and remains, that we and the Europeans see eye-to-eye on the need for Iran to end its enrichment program, to answer the concerns of the international community, that these talks provide an opportunity for Iran to end its international isolation, to respond positively to the concerns expressed by the IAEA and the international community, and that the choice is Iran's. And you can judge from whatever the latest statement is, whether you think they're making -- what choice they're making. I don't have any sort of assessment for you about that.

QUESTION: A follow-up?

MR. ERELI: Yeah.

QUESTION: Following this development with Iran, and I suppose it also impinges on other countries as well, would the United States like to see some type of resolution of the United Nations and other bodies which preclude, as we've just mentioned, commercial-type shipments following the A.Q. Kahn --

MR. ERELI: Well, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. We've made it clear from the very beginning that we think this is an issue that's appropriate for the UN to consider. There will be an IAEA -- there will be a report from the Director General of the IAEA, the matter will be considered by the Board of Governors at its next meeting and I'll leave it at that.

QUESTION: When is that meeting?

MR. ERELI: I believe it's in June.

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