Gore Hit for 'Secret Deal' on Arms Sales to Iran

By Scott Hogenson | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - The head of the House Policy Committee Friday launched a broadside at Vice President Al Gore for a "secret deal" Gore allegedly made allowing Russia to sell restricted weapons to Iran without facing US sanctions, and doing so in violation of a bill co-authored by Gore eight years ago.

Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA) accused Gore of having "concluded a secret agreement in 1995 with then-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin to circumvent U.S. laws requiring sanctions on any country that supplies advanced conventional weapons to Iran," according to a statement.

Cox was responding to an earlier report that Gore had allegedly agreed to not enforce a US law requiring sanctions on countries that sell "advanced conventional weapons," to Iran. The story first appeared Friday in the New York Times.

"The secret Gore-Chernomyrdin agreement reportedly allowed Russia to sell weapons to Iran for four more years, including an advanced submarine, torpedoes, anti-ship mines, and hundreds of tanks and armored personnel carriers," said Cox. "This submarine, as but one example, is exactly the type identified by Congress, when it passed the law, as posing a risk to US forces operating in the Middle East."

Joining Cox in his condemnation was Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who co-sponsored the measure with Gore in 1992, before his election as vice president. "The secret deal cut by Vice President Gore directly contradicts the 1992 law he authored," said Cox. "Gore's unwillingness to live up to his own words has abetted the arming of a terrorist state."

Cox made his remarks in conjunction with the US-Russia Business Council meeting in Washington, DC.