WikiLeaks: Armenia sent Iran arms used to kill U.S. troops

State expressed ‘deep concerns’

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A Western diplomat familiar with the incident said the United States had multiple streams of intelligence connecting the Armenian arms shipment to Iran with the deaths of U.S. soldiers in 2007 in Iraq.

When Mr. Sargsyan was first confronted with this intelligence in 2008 on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, he denied knowing anything about the matter, the cable says.

Mr. Negroponte, however, lays out the consequences to Armenia in the letter.

“Notwithstanding the close relationship between our countries, neither the Administration nor the U.S. Congress can overlook this case,” Mr. Negroponte said in his letter to the Armenian president.

“By law, the transfer of these weapons requires us to consider whether there is a basis for the imposition of U.S. sanctions. If sanctions are imposed, penalties could include the cutoff of U.S. assistance and certain export restrictions,” he said.

After leveling the threat, Mr. Negroponte told Mr. Sargsyan that in order to avoid sanctions he had to provide a written assurance to the United States that Armenia would update its export-control laws, establish teams of customs specialists at the border to check for contraband and dual-use exports and allow U.S. spot inspections of these checkpoints and make public its export-control lists.

The Armenians appear to have agreed to these measures as the United States never leveled any sanctions against Mr. Sargsyan’s government. The Armenian Embassy declined to comment for this article.

A December 2009 cable revealed that U.S. intelligence in June 2009 uncovered two Iranian front companies that offered to sell missile test equipment manufactured by the German firms Rohde & Schwarz and Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik (HBM) to Iran’s main developer of liquid-fueled ballistic missiles, the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group.

“We want to share this new information with German officials and encourage them to continue their efforts to prevent SHIG or other Iranian entities of proliferation concern from procuring sensitive items from Rohde & Schwarz and HBM,” the cable said.

A March 2009 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, stated that a network of Iranians had been identified in the Azerbaijani capital who were engaged in illicit activities.

“Some [of the Iranians] are also said to be significant actors in obtaining spare parts and equipment for the Revolutionary Guard, raising revenues and managing money for it and/or regime figures, or managing Iran-origin narcotics trafficking,” the cable said.

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