110. Briefing Memorandum From the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (Ilké) and the Director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs (Vest) to Acting Secretary of State Ingersoll1

FRG Nuclear Assistance to Brazil—Talking Points for your Meeting with Ambassador von Staden

The FRG Embassy on March 21 delivered a note (Tab B) to us indicating that the Germans intend to proceed with the export of nuclear equipment, materials, and technology to Brazil, including reprocessing and enrichment capabilities. The United States had urged the FRG to withhold final decisions on supplying reprocessing and enrichment technology until the key suppliers had had an opportunity to discuss multilaterally the possibility of adopting common constraints on these sensitive nuclear exports in the proposed nuclear suppliers’ conference. While the German note indicates that they would apply [Page 309] IAEA safeguards (including a PNE exclusion) to supplied materials and facilities, it appears that only limited and somewhat unclear additional controls would be applied, involving safeguards over derived technology and re-exports. The FRG note recognizes that German conditions fall short of our own preferred conditions as presented in the US five-point aide mémoire, but expresses the view that more stringent conditions than theirs could not be obtained multilaterally. There is at least a possibility that this German view is based upon bilateral discussions with France.

This development undoubtedly compounds the substantive and procedural difficulties ahead of us in coordinating nuclear export policies. It is therefore important to our objectives that we make every effort to induce the FRG to withhold finalization of the Brazil agreement until we can have further detailed consultations with them.

In discussing this matter with von Staden, the main point that we wish to convey is our concern that a decision to supply reprocessing and enrichment technology to a non-NPT party, under terms whose details are not yet clear, could preclude multilateral agreement on certain specific constraints which are essential to our mutual non-proliferation objectives. For this reason, we consider it extremely important that no final action be taken until we have had a chance to discuss the matter in more detail in the next week.

When you have delivered the attached talking points to von Staden, we suggest that, if agreeable with von Staden, you arrange for Louis Nosenzo (PM), to pursue the technical questions with the Embassy after the meeting.

  1. Summary: Iklé and Vest informed Ingersoll that the FRG-Brazil agreement on the sale of nuclear materials to Brazil increased the difficulties for the U.S. Government in coordinating nuclear export policies. Iklé and Vest thought it important that the Germans delay their sale until U.S. and German officials could discuss the matter.

    Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P830132–1855. Secret; Exdis. Sent through Sonnenfeldt. Drafted by Oplinger; cleared by Wolfe, Kalicki, and Bloom. Attached but not published are Tab A, Talking Points, and Tab B, an informal translation of the FRG note, both undated. In a March 21 meeting with German Ambassador Von Staden, Ilké stated his initial reaction to the Brazil-FRG agreement was that it would make it harder for the U.S. Government to apply stricter safeguards on the transfer of nuclear materials to Iran. (Telegram 66020 to Bonn, March 24; ibid., D750102–1013) In a March 25 meeting, Ingersoll informed Von Staden that “Secretary Kissinger is very concerned about this whole problem area [nonproliferation] and that U.S. believes that an agreement on more stringent multilateral controls is possible” and requested that the FRG defer the agreement with Brazil until discussions with U.S. officials could take place. The FRG agreed to discussions. (Telegram 66712 to Brasília, March 26; ibid., D750106–0309)