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Wednesday, 22 November, 2000, 11:37 GMT
Pakistan anger over missile sanctions
Pakistani missile on trailer
Pakistan denies breaching missile control agreements
Pakistan has attacked a decision by the US State Department to impose sanctions over the alleged transfer of missile technology from China.

"We consider these measures unwarranted and unjustified," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Riaz Mohammad Khan.

Sat image of Indian test site
India and Pakistan have carried out nuclear tests
He denied that Pakistan had received missile technology in contravention of international guidelines.

On Tuesday, the US decided to impose sanctions on the defence ministries and on defence-related firms in both Pakistan and Iran.

But it waived sanctions on China for helping Iran and Pakistan to develop missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads.

The Chinese foreign ministry had announced earlier on Tuesday that it was tightening controls on the export of missile-related technology.

Sanctions unnecessary

Mr Khan said both Pakistan and China had repeatedly stated no transfers had taken place in contravention of the Missile Technology Control Regime.

There was therefore no need for the sanctions, and Pakistan regretted the decision to impose them.

The US has imposed a two-year ban on the export of some technologies to the defence ministry and the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission in Pakistan.

Mr Khan said it was too early to say what effect this would have.

However, he said Pakistan received very little US technology at the moment.

China warning

The US said on Tuesday that while it was lifting sanctions for China's actions in the past, it would reimpose them if China helped Iran or Pakistan acquire new technology in the future.

The US remains worried about Iranian and Pakistani missile programmes, both of which it says had Chinese support.

Iran test-fired a new medium-range missile, the Shahab-3, in September.

The country said officially that it intended to use the Shahab-3 to launch satellites, not for military purposes, but the US considers it a ballistic missile with the range to hit Israel and most of Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Pakistan also increased its missile capabilities this year. Its medium-range Shaheen-2 missile is ready for flight-testing.

International concern has grown about security in South Asia after both India and Pakistan tested nuclear devices in 1998.

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See also:

21 Nov 00 | Americas
US waives China missile sanctions
22 Sep 00 | Middle East
Iran test-fires rocket
10 Aug 00 | South Asia
China accused over Pakistan missiles
12 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
China-US defence talks resume
16 Jul 00 | Media reports
Anxiety over Iranian missile launch
28 Jan 00 | Asia-Pacific
US-China military ties 'on track'
20 Mar 00 | South Asia
South Asia's nuclear race
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