In the News …

A former leader of the terrorist group Tamil Tigers claims the group was making efforts to acquire nuclear weapons technology from the West.

On the heals of likely Congressional approval of a $7.5 billion foreign assistance package to Pakistan, Islamabad officials “categorically rejected” accusations by unnamed U.S. officials published in the New York Times that Pakistan had modified U.S. defense articles.

Indonesian officials to push for stricter weapons export controls legislation this week.   According to the Jakarta Post, the “Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs, the Defense Minister and the military commander [will meet] to discuss terrorism and the recent findings of Indonesian-made weapons aboard a vessel that had docked off a port in the Philippines.”

An anonymous piece, at least to non-members, was published on the need to reform U.S. export control laws.  It states that the U.S. system “has placed the American exporter at the mercy of government bureaucrats and the whims of Congress.”  Read more, here.  “Reform” in Washington, DC – in just about every issue area – should begin by taking inventory of what does work, then cherry picking and fixing the trouble areas.  Anything more, and you usually end up with something that is more complicated and cumbersome than what you started out with.

Export controls meets California partisan politics.  According to the Mercury News, “Hewlett-Packard has sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of printers and other products to Iran through a Middle East distributor, sidestepping a U.S. ban on trade with the country.  Now the person who headed HP for much of that time, Carly Fiorina, is ramping up to run for U.S. Senate. And questions are emerging about what Fiorina knew about HP’s growing presence in Iran during her six-year tenure at the Silicon Valley firm from 1999 to 2005.”

Reporting on a recent BIS settlement agreement, Clif Burns pens at the Export Law Blog that “BIS would do more to promote small business compliance by specific outreach efforts targeted at small businesses rather than periodic, and severe, spankings of small businesses that commit minor export violations such as this one.”

According to DEBKAfile, “US, Israel and four other governments are urgently discussing the release of intelligence that Iran is running covert military nuclear projects parallel to its civilian program after Mohammed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, withheld this data from his last report.”

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