In a cable from February of 2010, State Department officials in Washington alerts the staff at the U.S. embassy in Beijing that a Malaysia-based firm, Electronics Component Limited (ECL), is trying to buy three-axel fiber optic gyroscopes from a Chinese company. This isn’t just a simple business deal, the dispatch makes clear. Gyroscopes measure orientation, which makes them a critical component of weapons’ inertial navigation systems. These particular gyroscopes, the State Department warns, “would be suitable for use in the guidance systems of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles.”
Worse, the cable adds, “ECL is part of a network of Iranian-controlled front companies that… procures sensitive goods on behalf of a number of Iranian entities of proliferation concern, including the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), which is Iran’s primary developer of liquid propellant ballistic missiles.”
The warning is part of a common thread emerging from WikiLeaks’ three major document dumps.