US Sells Nuclear Reactor to Morocco
Vol: 2 Issue: 28 Wednesday, November 28, 2001
The Islamic state of Morocco is awaiting the final approval for a purchase of nuclear reactor from the United States. The request to buy the reactor had been previously approved by the Bush administration, but the final authority to sell it rests with Congress.
Last month, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on the purchase of a nuclear reactor. The London-based Al Hayat daily said the reactor would cost $80 million and the prime contractor would be General Atomics. The reactor will be located north of Rabat.
Arab diplomatic sources said the two countries have been discussing the purchase for several years as part of an effort by Morocco to develop nuclear power.
It is unclear how the war on terror will affect the transfer of nuclear technology — and the resulting nuclear material it will produce — to an Islamic state. Or whether the Congress will approve it.
Iran and US Edging Closer — Hezbollah Gets Nervous
Some intelligence sites are filing reports that say Iran has quietly agreed to reduce support to the Shi’ite insurgency group.
Lebanese sources said Iran has agreed to several steps that affect relations with Hizbullah. They include the removal of 100 Iranian Revolutionary Guards from Lebanon as well as reduced military support for the group.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are actively involved in the training of Hezbollah. Iran has also sent more than 8,000 Katyusah rockets to the region for use by Hezbollah. Hezbollah leaders are dismissing the report. They said Iran has repeatedly pledged not to end military support to Hizbullah until Israel withdrew from the disputed Shebaa plateau.
Raissi Extradition Process Begins
A London-based Algerian pilot, accused of training some of the hijackers involved in the 11 September US terror attacks, went to court in London to face extradition proceedings to the US Lotfi Raissi, 27, appeared at the high security Belmarsh Magistrate’s Court in south-east London on charges of making a false statement when he applied for a US pilot’s license.
China Ready To Take Delivery of Fighters
Russia is ready to make the transfer of advanced Sukkoi-30 fighter-bombers to China. The first Su-30 deal was concluded in 1999 and was worth $1.8 billion for 40 of the jets. The Su-30s will bolster China s force of Su-27s. The People s Liberation Army currently has between 70 and 100 Su-27s. The Su-30 is a true ground attack aircraft, unlike the Su-27.
The Su-30s are worrisome for U.S. intelligence agencies since the jets will greatly increase the Chinese air force s ability to attack Taiwan.
US Spec-Ops Working With Iranian Intelligence
Military personnel from the United States and Iran worked together during the recent fighting on the ground in Afghanistan, London s Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reports. The paper cites Iranian military source who had just returned from Afghanistan and said that dozens of Iranian military intelligence officers, instructors and technicians are working on the ground in Afghanistan.
Tehran issued orders to cooperate and coordinate their activities with U.S. Special Forces units helping the opposition Northern Alliance and other groups in directing air strikes against the Taliban and al Qaeda forces.
The Iranians also provided thousands of uniforms, boots, AK-47 assault rifles, rocket launchers and anti-tank missiles to the Northern Alliance.
China Tests New Undersea Missile Launch
China conducted its second test of its new JL-2, a submarine launched ballistic missile system.
The People s Liberation Army Navy carried out the test in early November from a specially modified Golf-class submarine. The test was identified by U.S. intelligence officials as a pop-up test of the JL-2. In the test, a JL-2 air frame was fired out of its launch tube. The test was meant simulate the first step in firing a long-range missile.
The JL-2 is a special version of the DF-31, modified to be launched from a submarine.
The DF-31, China s newest ICBM, is believed by U.S. intelligence to incorporate stolen U.S. nuclear warheads design information as well as missile technology illegally transferred to China by U.S. companies involved in satellite sales to Beijing during the 1990s.