May 21, 1974
Report from the Brazilian Foreign Ministry to President Ernesto Geisel, 'Subject: The Indian nuclear test'
This is a note from the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Antonio Azeredo da Silveira, to Brazilian President Ernesto Geisel, regarding India’s nuclear test in 1974. It indicates the main consequences of the Indian test to both the world and Brazil, and suggests that Argentina has the necessary incentives to follow India’s path.
Brazil Scope Paper: Implications of the Argentine Visit
Cyrus Vance - apparently unintentionally - left behind this document while meeting with Brazilian President Geisel. It lays out US negotiations with Argentina to ratify the Treaty of Tlateloco, to accept full scope safeguards and to delay the construction of a reprocessing facility in exchange for US nuclear assistance and Brazil’s acceptance of a moratorium on the construction of a reprocessing facility.
March 22, 1977
Letter to Hugo Abreu on a Conversation between Vice-Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Admiral José Calvente Aranda and the Argentine Ambassador Oscar Camilión
Abreu reports a conversation in which ambassador Camillión revealed President Videla’s desire to visit Brazil, implying that Itaipu was a sensitive issue, but of domestic nature. The Argentine government suggested a joint declaration on nuclear issues to turn away international suspicions on "the production of the bomb."
September 07, 1977
Letter from US Congressman Paul Findley to Brazilian Vice-President Adalberto Pereira dos Santos
Findley proposes a system of mutual inspection of nuclear facilities between Argentina and Brazil. According to the agreement he proposed, Brazil and Argentina would renounce the intention to develop a nuclear device and would accept mutual inspections of their respective nuclear facilities.
November 30, 1977
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Information to the President, 'Secretary of State Cyrus Vance's Visit'
According to a US document left behind by Cyrus Vance, Argentina had agreed to ratify the Treaty of Tlateloco, to accept full scope safeguards and to delay the construction of a reprocessing facility in exchange for US nuclear assistance and Brazil’s acceptance of a moratorium on the construction of a reprocessing facility. Commenting the paper, Foreign Minister Silveira defines US strategy as “irresponsible” and considers it as an encouragement to the rivalry and confrontation between Argentina and Brazil.
January 10, 1978
National Intelligence Daily Cable, NIDC 78/007C, 'Argentina: No Treaty Ratification'
This CIA bulletin notes the failure of U.S.-Argentine nuclear negotiations after Cyrus Vance’s visit to Argentina in December 1977. The U.S. proposed to supply highly enriched uranium for Argentina’s reactor exported to Peru, as well as to approve of a heavy water plant from Canada and asked in exchange for the Argentine ratification of the Tlatelolco Treaty as well as the deferral of their spent-fuel reprocessing plans.
April 05, 1978
Telegram from the Brazilian Embassy in Buenos Aires to the Foreign Ministry, 'External Policy. Argentina. Nuclear non-proliferation. Issue no. 132.'
This telegram made by the Brazilian Embassy in Buenos Aires, verifies U.S. pressure on Argentina’s nuclear program, especially through Canada, with whom Argentina had a strategic partnership in the nuclear field. The telegram goes into depth on factors that underlie Argentina's decision not to sign the NPT, and its efforts to import the materials necessary for its nuclear program.
April 09, 1981
Special Assistant for NPI, NFAC, CIA, to Resource Management Staff, Office of Program Assessment et al, 'Request for Review of Draft Paper on the Security Dimension of Non-Proliferation'
Just a few months into President Reagan’s first term his administration wanted to make its own mark on nonproliferation policy. The report suggests building “broader bilateral relationship[s]” and offering political and security incentives could persuade states considering developing nuclear weapons to cease these efforts.
Secretary's Talking Points: US-China Relations
This is a document containing talking points for Secretary of State Alexander Haig's meeting with Deng Xiaoping. Topics addressed in the document include: Chinese exportation of uranium and heavy water to South Africa and Argentina; the intention to suspend the prohibition of arm sales to China; greater nuclear and security cooperation; the increase in Chinese arm sales to countries dependent on the Soviet Union; and the desire to open a new consulate in Shenyang.
National Intelligence Estimate, NIE-4-82, 'Nuclear Proliferation Trends Through 1987'
With proliferation becoming a “greater threat to US interests over the next five years,” intelligence analysts believed that the “disruptive aspect of the proliferation phenomenon will constitute the greater threat to the United States.” While the estimators saw “low potential” for terrorist acquisition of nuclear weapons, the likelihood of terrorist/extortionist hoaxes was on the upswing. Significant portions of the NIE are excised, especially the estimate of Israel’s nuclear arsenal and its impact in the Middle East. Nevertheless, much information remains on the countries of greatest concern: Iraq and Libya in the Near East, India and Pakistan in South Asia, Brazil and Argentina in Latin America, and the Republic of South Africa, as well as those of lesser concern: Iran, Egypt, Taiwan and the two Koreas.
September 01, 1982
Special National Intelligence Estimate, SNIE 91-2-82, 'Argentina’s Nuclear Policies in Light of the Falkland’s Defeat'
Argentina, like its neighbor, Brazil, was determined to develop an “independent nuclear fuel cycle,” with the capacity to reprocess plutonium and enrich uranium. Also like Brazil, Argentina was one of the few Latin American countries to refuse to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Thus, Argentina’s nuclear activities were under routine scrutiny to see if they involved anything that suggested an interest in a weapons capability. US intelligence agencies continued to monitor developments but perspectives shifted as Argentina’s domestic politics evolved. Prepared after the Argentine-British conflict over the Falklands Islands, in which Washington helped London, this special estimate professed “great uncertainty” over Argentina’s nuclear intentions. While “emotionally” the Argentine military leadership was interested in a weapons option, it had “reduced capability to fulfill this desire.”
September 08, 1982
Special National Intelligence Estimate, SNIE 91-2-82, 'Argentina's Nuclear Policies in Light of the Falklands Defeat'
The document reports that Argentina did not have a military component in its nuclear program and evaluates Argentina’s capacity of developing a nuclear program with military purposes.
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.
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.
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.”