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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • January 20, 1983

    Special National Intelligence Estimate, SNIE 13/32-83, 'Chinese Policy and Practices Regarding Sensitive Nuclear Transfers'

    With nuclear proliferation a policy priority for the Jimmy Carter administration, and Pakistan already a special concern, the possibility that China and Pakistan were sharing nuclear weapons-related information began was beginning to worry US government officials. These concerns did not go away during the Reagan administration. While nuclear proliferation was not a top priority, the administration was apprehensive about the implications of the spread of nuclear capabilities and that China may have been aiding and abetting some potential proliferators by selling unsafeguarded nuclear materials.

  • March 25, 1983

    Telegram No. BUE/101/1/82, K.F. Ernest, First Secretary, Embassy of India, Buenos Aires, Falkland Islands War

    Analysis after Argentina's defeat in the Falklands War.

  • October 21, 1983

    Special National Intelligence Estimate, SNIE 93-83, 'Brazil’s Changing Nuclear Goals: Motives and Constraints'

    Brazilian nationalism has often posed a challenge to US official precepts on the way the world should work and these estimates convey the deep Brasilia-Washington gap over nuclear policy during the 1980s. The SNIEs from 1983 and the 1985 update emphasize Brazil’s quest for technological-industrial autonomy which in nuclear terms meant developing an indigenous program to master the fuel cycle, including uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing capabilities. In seeking those objectives, Brazil did not want to face any constraints, and its leaders were unresponsive to U.S. or other pressures for safeguards on nuclear facilities.

  • November 18, 1983

    Letter, Argentinian President Bignone to Brazilian President Figueiredo

    Argentinian President Bignone informs Figueiredo of the Argentine capacity to enrich uranium.

  • November 19, 1983

    Letter, Brazilian President Figueiredo to Argentinian President Bignone

    In his answer to Argentinian President Bignone, Brazilian President João Batista Figueiredo expresses satisfaction for the result achieved by the neighbor country.

  • July 31, 1984

    Special National Intelligence Estimate, SNIE 91/3-84, 'Argentina’s Nuclear Policies Under Alfonsin'

    Almost two years after the 1982 SNIE, the military rule had collapsed and a democratically-elected government led by Raul Alfonsin was taking an unambiguous stand on nuclear weapons. In its 1984 assessment, the intelligence community was more certain about Argentina’s nuclear policies: “on the basis of discernible evidence … Argentina does not have a program to develop or test nuclear explosives.” Nevertheless, Alfonsin was unlikely to change “Argentina’s long-term efforts to achieve its goal of acquiring a full range of nuclear-fuel-cycle facilities.”

  • January 01, 1985

    Note from Argentine Ambassador García del Solar to the Argentine Foreign Ministry

    This document reveals an encounter between a U.S. State Department official and an Argentine diplomat in Washington D.C., in which the U.S. diplomat suggests to his Argentine counterpart that the U.S. government would warmly welcome an initiative by Argentina and Brazil regarding mutual inspections as well as a declaration renouncing the right to develop peaceful nuclear explosives.

  • January 10, 1985

    Memorandum from Brazilian Ambassador Roberto Abdenur to Minister Saraiva Guerreiro, 'Brazil-Argentina. Nuclear energy'

    Report on the bilateral nuclear relationship between Brazil and Argentina from the Alfonsín presidency until the end of the Figueiredo Administration. The main theme is a possible joint declaration on the renunciation of nuclear explosives. Alfonsín and Foreign Minister Caputo are in favor, but elements within the Brazilian government remain opposed.

  • April 30, 1985

    Information to the Chief of DEC, 'Nuclear Energy. Brazil-Argentina Relations.'

    The document reports the Brazilian government’s concern in regard to President Alfonsín’s imminent proposal to create a mechanism of regional nuclear control in Latin America.

  • May 13, 1985

    Memorandum from the Argentine General Directorate for Nuclear Affairs and Disarmament, 'Cooperation with Brazil in the Field of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy'

    This memo from the Argentine General Directorate of Nuclear Affairs and Disarmament to the South America Directorate proposes a joint Argentine-Brazilian declaration on the peaceful use of nuclear weapons. Rejecting the establishment of IAEA safeguards, the memo instead suggests a "mutual guarantee mechanism" based on cooperation and inspections on a case by case basis.

  • May 14, 1985

    Memorandum No 294/85 from Ambassador Saracho to the Secretary of State Jorge Sábato, 'Cooperation with Brazil on Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy'

    The memo produced by the General Directory of Nuclear and Disarmament Issues of the Argentine Foreign Ministry presents a strategy in regard to Brazil in the nuclear area, considering the meetings between Dante Caputo and Olavo Setúbal between 20 and 21 May 1985 in Buenos Aires. Argentina presented the regime of mutual inspections as the most important aspect.

  • September, 1985

    Central Intelligence Agency, Directorate of Intelligence, 'Argentina: Seeking Nuclear Independence: An Intelligence Assessment'

    According to the 1985 report, the Argentines “have achieved at least a proof of principle of uranium enrichment via gaseous diffusion.” In other words, they had a workable system. Nevertheless, the enrichment plant would not be “fully operational until 1987-1988.” While the assessment of Argentine interest in nuclear weapons did not change, CIA analysts asserted that “Argentina continues to develop the necessary facilities and capabilities that could support a nuclear weapons development effort.”

  • September, 1985

    Intelligence Estimate, 'Argentina: Seeking Nuclear Independence'

    This estimate is an update of the1984 SNIE, and has more specific considerations on the Alfonsin government and its nuclear policies, capabilities and intentions.

  • September 02, 1985

    Cable from Rafael Vazquez, Argentinian Ambassador to Brazil, Requesting Meeting with the Brazilian Foreign Minister

    In this cable to Buenos Aires, Ambassador Vazquez reports that he requested a meeting with Minister Olavo Setúbal after General Leonidas Pires Gonçalves suggested that he would support a Brazilian nuclear weapons program. Vazquez also discusses a conversation with the Brazilian Foreign Minister's chief of staff, who told Vazquez that General Leônidas Pires refuted the reports of a Brazilian atomic bomb.

  • October, 1985

    Brazil-Argentina Joint Statement on Regional Nuclear Policy

    Proposed joint statement to create an Argentina-Brazil working group to discuss nuclear energy.

  • October, 1985

    Memorandum to President Sarney, 'Brazil-Argentina. Cooperation on Nuclear Affairs.'

    An Argentine delegation proposed a joint statement on regional nuclear policy and a mutual inspection system between Brazil and Argentina.

  • October 10, 1985

    Memorandum from the Argentine General Directorate for Nuclear Affairs and Disarmament, 'Overflight by Brazilian Military Plane at Pilcaniyeu Uranium Enrichment Plant'

    In this memorandum, General Director for Nuclear and Disarmament Affairs Adolfo Saracho reports on a Brazilian airplane's flight over the uranium enrichment plant at Pilcaniyeu.

  • October 29, 1985

    Memorandum from Foreign Minister Olavo Setúbal to President Sarney, 'Brazil-Argentina. Cooperation on Nuclear Energy'

    The document presents the proposal to create an Argentina-Brazil working group to discuss nuclear energy.

  • November, 1985

    Brazil-Argentina Foz do Iguaçu Joint Declaration on Regional Nuclear Policy

    President Alfonsín of Argentina and President Sarney of Brazil declare their commitment to peaceful nuclear energy cooperation and mutual guarantees.

  • November 08, 1985

    Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations, 'Information for the Meeting on Nuclear Issues with Argentine Authorities'

    Information for a meeting between José Sarney and Raul Alfonsín and as a guide to the joint declaration on the peaceful character of nuclear programs and for the creation of a working group to promote cooperation between the two countries. Itamaraty recognized Argentina’s achievements in the nuclear realm. The last two paragraphs suggests the rejection of a possible Argentine proposal to create a system of mutual inspections.