The report said North Korea helped develop Iran's Shihab ballistic
missiles series. Author Christina Lin said North Korea's Taepo Dong
intermediate-range missiles have served as the basis of Iran's program,
including the design of a nuclear interncontinental ballistic missile with
a range of up to 6,000 kilometers, dubbed Shihab-6.
China has sought to make Iran a key waystation in Beijing's silk road
policy of expanding influence throughout Asia. The report said Beijing,
believed to be channeling aid through neighboring North Korea, regarded Iran
as an ally to balance the strategic relationship between the United States
and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
"Iran may also be a new pearl in China's maritime pearl necklace," the
report said. "China is increasing its naval presence in the Arabian Sea and
Indian Ocean, with a call in December 2009 by Chinese Rear Adm. Yin Zhou to
set up a permanent naval base in the Gulf of Aden."
The report did not discount the prospect that China would establish a
permanent naval base in Iran. Ms. Yin, today a researcher with Jane's
Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Intelligence Center, said
China could be offered a naval base at one of Iran's islands in the Gulf.
"Iran may be inclined to offset U.S. pressure by playing the 'China card'
should the United States try to project military power by utilizing some of
the UAE's man-made islands," the report said. "Indeed, in November 2009,
NATO entered into the advanced stages of negotiating a Status of Forces
Agreement with the United Arab Emirates in the face of Iran's nuclear
The report said China was expected to block United Nations Security
Council sanctions against Iran. Ms. Lin compared China's role to that of
Russia's alliance with Serbia when it came under attack by a Western-led
coalition in 1999.
Regardless of UN sanctions, North Korea would continue to funnel weapons
and technology to Iran, the report said. Ms. Lin said Iran has financed
North Korean research and development of ballistic missiles and other strategic
"Iran and DPRK have partnered closely on missile flight-testing, proxy
testing of DPRK systems in Iran, and data exchanges," the report said. "Proxy testing in Iran of
jointly developed missiles allowed DPRK to avoid sanctions after the September 1999 missile
test moratorium while continuing its missile advances."
The report said the Damascus-Pyongyang alliance has spread to Syria and
Hizbullah. This has included North Korean construction of an alleged
plutonium production plant in Syria as well as constructing tunnels for
Hizbullah in southern Lebanon.
"The three top Hizbullah officials who received training in DPRK are
Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbullah's secretary general and the head of the
Hizbullah military organization; Ibrahim Akil, head of Hizbullah's security
and intelligence service; and Mustapha Badreddine, Hizbullah's
counter-espionage chief," the report said.