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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Warns Russian Agencies Over Iran Technology Deals

WASHINGTON -- Despite repeated assurances Russia is moving slowly to curb missile technology deals with Iran and the State Department may crack down by denying funds for various Russian projects, officials warned.

Transfer of technology and scientific expertise to Iran conflicts with U.S. national security, said a senior official who told a group of reporters that "red flags" had been assigned to several Russian agencies and research facilities.

Formerly involved in Soviet weapons work, they were linked to U.S. programs and provided with U.S. assistance to wean them away from exporting technology or expertise to Tehran.

Israel and the United States have accused Iran of trying to develop a long-range missile with the help of some Russian firms and scientists.

Moscow acknowledges that Iran has tried to obtain missile know-how, but said all such attempts had been thwarted. On Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated that authorities are taking all the steps necessary to curb the illegal export of dual-use technology.

The senior U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Thursday that the Russian government has approved curbs on deals with Iran but U.S. President Bill Clinton's administration was watching for the promises to be carried out. "Progress would not be advanced by turning prematurely to sanctions," he said.

If there is no alternative, the administration may have to crack down and deny assistance.

The newspaper USA Today said Thursday that the State Department was already moving against Russian agencies and had denied funding for at least three projects.

The newspaper said 20 such agencies had been declared ineligible for assistance because they may have provided missile technology to Iran.

U.S. State Department spokesman James Rubin said he was "not in a position to discuss a specific list other than to say that we do closely scrutinize many companies."