Russian missile manufacturers provided goods to Iran’s ballistic missile program, but U.S. intelligence agencies claim the proliferation is not part of an official Moscow policy of backing Tehran weapons programs.
The unclassified assessment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was sent in April to Congress following a request from Capitol Hill to explain the current state of Moscow-Tehran missile trade. The new intelligence on the missile trade could trigger sanctions under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria sanctions law or limit U.S. government interaction with Moscow.
“We assess that individual entities have provided assistance to Iran’s ballistic missile programs,” the DNI statement by legislative director Kathleen Turner said.
The new assessment differs from an earlier intelligence statement supplied to Congress that was more categorical on the transfers and did not contain legalistic references included in an apparent effort to avoid linking the Russian government to recent missile-related transfers.
The assessment could affect a requested presidential waiver sought by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration that is needed prior to the next U.S. payment to Russia for the International Space Station.
A State Department official said the Russia-Iran missile trade has not been raised in recent meetings between U.S. and Russian officials.