Congressional Documents

105th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 1st Session                                                    105-304

                     IRAN OF C-802 CRUISE MISSILES


  October 6, 1997.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 


 Mr. Gilman, from the Committee on International Relations, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                       [To accompany H. Res. 188]

    The Committee on International Relations, to whom was 
referred the resolution (H. Res. 188) urging the executive 
branch to take action regarding the acquisition by Iran of C-
802 cruise missiles, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the 
resolution be agreed to.

                         background and purpose

    H. Res. 188, urging the executive branch to take action 
regarding the acquisition by Iran of C-802 cruise missiles, 
calls upon the Clinton Administration to take firm action 
against those responsible for providing dangerous C-802 cruise 
missiles to Iran. These transfers are a threat to our national 
security and place the safety and security of American 
servicemen and women stationed in the Persian Gulf theater of 
operations at risk. The acquisition of these sea-skimming, 
nearly-supersonic C-802 cruise missiles by Iran is a 
destabilizing development and constitutes a clear threat to 
peace in the region.
    In addition, this transfer violates the provisions of the 
Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act of 1992 (Gore-McCain Act) 
and therefore requires the President to levy sanctions against 
the provider of the cruise missiles--China. These transfers are 
continuing, with the situation exacerbated by the recent advent 
of the delivery of the C-801K air launched cruise missile. 
Despite the threats by Iran against U.S. forces, and to close 
the Gulf, to date, regrettably, the Administration has done 
    This resolution calls upon the executive branch to enforce 
the law (50 U.S.C. 1701 note) with respect to the acquisition 
by Iran of these cruise missiles, and to take appropriate 
action against China for providing these weapons.
    We should all remember the tragic and deadly attack against 
the naval escort vessel U.S.S. Stark that occurred in the 
Persian Gulf in May, 1987. A single cruise missile slammed into 
the frigate and killed 37 American sailors.
    Today, 15,000 members of the United States Armed Forces are 
stationed in the Persian Gulf area, carrying out a variety of 
important foreign policy objectives: enforcing economic 
sanctions against Iraq; protecting U.S. and European aircraft 
that are patrolling the no-fly zone over southern Iraq; and, 
maintaining open sea lanes through the Gulf. We owe it to our 
troops to minimize, to the extent possible, the threat they 
face as they conduct these important national security 
missions. Prohibiting rogue regimes such as Iran from acquiring 
advanced conventional weapons must be a high foreign policy 
objective for the United States.
    In 1996, the China National Precision Machinery Import-
Export Corporation, a state-run enterprise, delivered 60 C-802 
model cruise missiles to Iran. These missiles are mounted on 
patrol boats for use by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy. 
The China National Precision Machinery Import-Export 
Corporation markets the C-802 in its sales brochure as a 
missile with ``mighty attack capability'' and ``great 
firepower'' for use against escort vessels such as the U.S.S. 
Stark. This is the same company that supplied missile 
technology to Pakistan, a transaction that led the United 
States Government to impose economic sanctions for violating 
U.S. law and international non-proliferation guidelines.
    In addition, China reportedly is supplying Iran with a 
land-based version of the C-802 cruise missile. Iran has been 
constructing several sites along its coastlines to accommodate 
Transporter-Erector-Launchers (TELs), from which the Iranian 
Revolutionary Guard can fire these cruise missiles at targets 
in both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The C-802 model 
cruise missile provides the Iranian military a weapon with 
greater range, accuracy, reliability, and mobility than it 
previously possessed and shifts the balance of power in the 
Gulf region.
    In November 1996, Iran conducted land, sea and air war 
games in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman and successfully 
test-fired a C-802 anti-ship cruise missile from one of its 
patrol boats. Admiral Scott Redd, the former commander-in-chief 
of the United States FifthFleet stationed in the Gulf, said 
that the C-802 missiles give Iran a ``360-degree threat which can come 
at you from basically anywhere.'' Deputy Assistant Secretary of State 
Robert Einhorn told the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on April 
11, 1997, that the C-802 cruise missiles ``pose new, direct threats to 
deployed United States forces.''
    The Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act of 1992--Title XVI 
of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
1993--establishes United States policy to oppose any transfer 
to Iran of destabilizing numbers and types of advanced 
conventional weapons, including cruise missiles. The law 
requires the President to apply sanctions to ``those nations 
and persons who assist [Iran] in acquiring weapons.''
    We know that China is responsible for the transfer of these 
cruise missiles to Iran. The President must impose the 
sanctions that are stipulated in the law. The failure of the 
President to take any action has led to the continuance of 
transfers, including new variations of cruise missiles which 
increases the threat to deployed U.S. forces.
    To the Committee's dismay, the Administration has concluded 
that the known transfers of C-802 cruise missiles from China to 
Iran are not a destabilizing number and type and, therefore, 
require no enforcement of sanctions against China. Instead, 
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told a Senate 
Appropriations subcommittee in May, 1997 that the 
Administration has ``deep concerns'' about the acquisition of 
cruise missiles by Iran and will continue to review this 
development. This is unacceptable. While reasonable people can 
disagree over what constitutes ``destabilizing,'' there can be 
no argument that Iran has been engaged in a worrisome expansion 
of its conventional military capability, especially its navy. 
Iran has threatened to use its military power to close the 
Straits of Hormuz, disrupt international shipping, and 
challenge American forces active in the Gulf. The Tehran 
government views the United States military as an unwelcome 
presence in the region. Our ships have had several close 
encounters with the Iranian navy in the past year. Fortunately, 
these confrontations have remained small and contained.
    As Elaine Sciolino points out in her April 20, 1997, 
article in ``The New York Times,'' the potential for real 
conflict between the United States and Iran is significant, 
``when two enemy navies with vastly different military missions 
and governments that do not talk to each other are crowded into 
such a small, highly strategic body of water.'' The acquisition 
by Iran of advanced cruise missiles, like the C-802 model, must 
be considered a serious threat to stability, given the 
explosive situation that already exists. Iran's intent seems 
clear: to challenge the United States for predominance in the 
    Thus the number of C-802 cruise missiles that Iran acquires 
becomes academic when considering application of the provisions 
of the Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act. Our men and women 
in uniform in the Persian Gulf now face a greater risk with at 
least sixty lethal cruise missiles targeted at them. The 
sailors aboard the U.S.S. Stark can remind us of the 
irreparable harm that one cruise missile can perform, let alone 
sixty or more.
    Other considerations aside, the law requires the 
Administration to impose sanctions on China for its role in 
providing these weapons to Iran. Our inaction only provides the 
tacit approval that allows the Chinese to continue to provide a 
potential adversary with the means to harm our brave young men 
and women serving their country far from home in the Persian 
Gulf. It is time for the United States Government to deliver a 
crystal clear response that these transfers are irresponsible 
and inimical to U.S. interests and U.S.-Sino relations.

                            Committee Action

    H. Res. 188 was introduced July 17, 1997. It was then 
referred to the International Relations Committee for 
consideration. The introduction of this bill culminated several 
months of work on the subject of how to respond to the 
proliferation of destabilizing advanced conventional weapons by 
the government by the People's Republic of China to Iran in 
ways that addressed specific problems and target individual 
proliferators. While this measure was pending, Members and 
staff received briefings from, and conducted discussions with, 
the Office of Naval Intelligence, the Defense Intelligence 
Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Director of 
Central Intelligence's Nonproliferation Center, and the State 
    On September 26, 1997, the International Relations 
Committee considered the measure, ordering it reported to the 
House by voice vote without amendment, a quorum being present.

                      comittee oversight findings

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee findings 
and recommendations of the Committee, based on oversight 
activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, are incorporated in the descriptive 
portions of this report.

         committee on Government reform and oversight findings

    No findings or recommendations of the Committee on 
Government Reform and Oversight were received as referred to in 
clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of 

               new budget authority and tax expenditures

    The Committee adopts the cost estimate of the Congressional 
Budget Office, set out below, as its submission of any required 
information on new budget authority, new spending authority, 
new credit authority, or an increase or decrease in the 
national debt required by clause 2(l)(3)(B) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives.

                       federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 

                      advisory committee statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 

                applicability to the legislative branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

                      section-by-section analysis


    Contains whereas clauses setting forth the facts and 
circumstances that give rise to concern about the acquisition 
by Iran of C-802 cruise missile from China. Among these facts 
and circumstances are that the China National Precision 
Machinery Import-Export Corporation delivered 60 C-802 cruise 
missiles to Iran; that 15,000 members of the United States 
Armed Forces are stationed within range of the C-802 missiles 
acquired by Iran; and that the Executive branch has concluded 
at present that the missiles known to have been delivered to 
Iran are not of a ``destabilizing number and type.''
            First paragraph after the resolving clause
    The House of Representatives finds that the delivery of 
cruise missiles to Iran is of a destabilizing number and type 
and therefore is a violation of the Iran-Iraq Arms Non-
Proliferation Act of 1992.
            Second paragraph after the resolving clause
    The House of Representatives urges the Executive branch to 
enforce the Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act of 1992 with 
respect to the acquisition by Iran of C-802 cruise missiles.

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                              h. res. 188

    This resolution finds that the delivery of Chinese cruise 
missiles to Iran is a violation of the Iran-Iraq Arms Non-
Proliferation Act of 1992 and urges the executive branch to 
enforce the law by imposing new sanctions against China, as 
called for in that law.
    This resolution is badly flawed both substantively and 
procedurally. Substantively, the Committee's action on this 
resolution presumes to make a judgment on a serious and complex 
non-proliferation matter--whether or not transfers of Chinese-
made C-802 cruise missiles to Iran are ``destabilizing'' 
according to the Iran-Iraq Arms Non-Proliferation Act of 1992 
and therefore subject to sanction--based on a series of news 
articles and one short briefing from one intelligence official.
    First, a determination of whether Chinese transfers of 
cruise missiles to Iran constitutes a violation of U.S. law is 
a question of great complexity, and sensitivity, requiring the 
input of both military experts and regional specialists in the 
Executive branch, as well as the judgments of our top policy 
officials, but no such views were requested or received. It is 
almost beyond belief that the Congress would render a judgment 
of this significance without even consulting those in the 
Executive branch most responsible for making this judgment.
    Second, the relevant law, the Iraq-Iran Arms Non-
Proliferation Act of 1992, gives the President, not the 
Congress, the authority to make such a determination. For the 
Congress to assume this authority now, as this resolution does, 
represents an attempt to infringe on powers the Congress gave 
to the Executive branch. If Congress wants to impose sanctions 
on China, the proper course is to send a bill to the President 
for his signature or veto.
    Third, the Committee has had no discussion and made no 
assessment about the impact of a determination of violation of 
law on U.S. interests. Would it advance U.S. non-proliferation 
interests in the Gulf region if such a determination were made? 
No evidence was provided to demonstrate the positive benefit of 
such a determination.
    Procedurally, the process followed by the Committee in 
marking up this resolution was most unfortunate.
    First, the process did not reflect the way a responsible 
committee should operate. Members and staff were not given 
adequate notice to study this resolution, even though it deals 
with serious issues that could have a major adverse impact on 
the upcoming summit meeting with the Chinese President. The 
usual requirement of one week's notice for a mark up was 
reduced to barely more than 24 hours. No unusual or emergency 
circumstances exist that warranted waiving the customary one-
week rule. No committee hearings have been held on this 
resolution, nor were any senior Administration officials 
permitted to testify on the policy implications of this 
resolution prior to the mark up.
    Second, this resolution is badly timed. It does not enhance 
the ability of the President to advance U.S. non-proliferation 
goals at the upcoming U.S.-Chinese summit, the first official 
U.S.-China summit in over eight years. It is counterproductive 
for the Committee--on the basis of hasty deliberation and 
inadequate consultation with the Executive branch--to condemn 
Chinese actions and criticize Administration policy, since this 
approach is unlikely to persuade the Chinese that the Congress 
is serious about its commitment to nonproliferation. Adoption 
of this resolution will make the President's job more difficult 
as he attempts to persuade the Chinese to halt the transfer to 
Iran of dangerous weapons. The Congress should be working with 
the President to help make the summit successful, not passing 
bills to put obstacles in his way, and to create the impression 
that the Congress is moving in one direction and the President 
the other in China policy.
    Finally, the cumulative impact of five resolutions on China 
marked up and voted out of Committee as a package--plus others 
that are circulating and may come to the Floor simultaneously 
with these five--is likely to be harmful to U.S. foreign policy 
interests. Congress of course has every right to express its 
views on these important issues. Nonetheless, when this many 
resolutions each with a strongly anti-Chinese tilt suddenly 
come forward simultaneously, and only weeks before a summit 
meeting, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that 
considerations other than foreign policy are also at work here. 
The Chinese-American relationship will not advance if it 
becomes a game board for the purpose of scoring points of 
perceived domestic political advantage.

                                   Lee H. Hamilton.
                                   Gary L. Ackerman.
                                   Amo Houghton.
                                   Bob Clement.