Extending NASA's Exemption from the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act [Updated July 30, 2008]   [open pdf - 90KB]

This CRS report provides an update on Congressional action taken in regards to the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act [INKSNA]. "The Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 [INA] was enacted to help stop foreign transfers to Iran of weapons of mass destruction, missile technology, and advanced conventional weapons technology, particularly from Russia. Section 6 of the INA banned U.S. payments to Russia in connection with the International Space Station [ISS] unless the U.S. President determined that Russia was taking steps to prevent such proliferation. When the President in 2004 announced that the Space Shuttle would be retired in 2010, the Russian Soyuz became the only vehicle available after that date to transport astronauts to and from the ISS. In 2005 Congress amended INA to exempt Soyuz flights to the ISS from the Section 6 ban through 2011. It also extended the provisions to Syria and North Korea, and renamed it the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act [INKSNA]. NASA has now asked Congress to extend the exemption for the life of the ISS, or until U.S. crew transport vehicles become operational. As in 2005, an exemption would be needed before payments could be made to Russia since the President has not made a determination pursuant to Section 6(b) of the INKSNA regarding Russian nonproliferation policy or proliferation activities to Iran, North Korea or Syria."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL34477
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