Following the 1991 Gulf War Iran imported the C-802 antiship cruise missile from China. China suspended exports in 1996 in response to comlaints by the the United States. In December 1996 Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, John Shalikashivili, warned Chinese Defense Minister General Chi Haotian that arms exports would increase destabilizing factors in the region. No international agreement bans transfers of anti-ship missiles, and the C-802 is not covered by the MTCR, which controls exports of ballistic and cruise missiles that can deliver 500 kg. warheads to 300 km. Iran expected to purchase 150 C-802 missiles from China but only received a half of them because of the arms suspension. By mid-1997 Iran reportedly possessed some 60 of the missiles deployed in coastal batteries on Qeshm Island, a strategic point on the eastern side of the Arabian peninsula. In 1997, General J.H. Binford Peay, Central Command commander, said that China transferred 20 patrol boats with 15 equipped with C-802 missiles (Washington Times, January 29, 1997). [Some reports claim that China may have transferred hundreds of C-802s, although these claims are not widely attested].
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