China, Iran Cruise Missile Sales Confirmed: "Smugglers in Ukraine shipped 18 cruise missiles, each capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, to Iran and China at the beginning of the decade, Ukrainian prosecutors said Friday. The apparent sale to Iran of 12 of the Soviet-era Kh-55 cruise missiles, which have a range of 1,860 miles, is likely to add to concern in Washington about alleged efforts by Iran to develop nuclear weapons. .. public confirmation by the new administration of President Viktor Yushchenko came Friday.
Each missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead with a 200-kiloton yield at altitudes too low to be detected by radar, and the sales have been portrayed as a significant leak of Soviet-era weapons technology. .. Omelchenko said missiles were shipped to China in 2000 and Iran in 2001. If the missiles were made operational, they could strike Israel if launched from Iran and Japan if fired from China or its neighbor, North Korea. The Japanese government reportedly is worried that the six missiles allegedly shipped to China could have ended up in North Korea, which claims to possess nuclear weapons. ..
The [defendant's] attorney said the missiles sent to Iran and China were manufactured in 1987, had a service life of eight years, had been stored since 1992 in a way that did not meet standards, lacked parts and were missing the technical documents needed to use them, Itar-Tass reported."
The state prosecutor says it was a criminal group, but a legislator mainatins that the Ukrspetsexport, the state-owned arms sale monopoly was involved. 7:43:27 AM