Is Anyone Paying Attention To Reality on the 9th Floor?

- NASA Photo ISS012-E-05002 (12 October 2005)

"Astronaut William S. McArthur Jr. (left), Expedition 12 commander and NASA science officer, and cosmonaut Valery I. Tokarev, flight engineer representing Russia's Federal Space Agency, participate in congratulatory greetings to the guests of the Gala Night Celebration dedicated to the 75th Anniversary of the renowned Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) from the Zvezda Service Module of the international space station."

Editor's Update: It would seem that Joe Davis made a "strategic communication" decision and deleted this image from the ISS website - as if a simple website deletion will make the problem - and the ill-advised decision making that led up to it - just go away. The original link to the image no longer works. Nor is there any mention of the photo in the official image archive for Expedition 12. For the sake of accuracy, this is what the original page looked like and this is the original hi res image. Yet another example of an agency unable to admit its errors.

Editor's Update: I just got the following response from NASA HQ PAO: "Keith, the Moscow event was a private downlink and should not have been part of public images available online. We apologize for the confusion and don't believe removing the image represents any inconsistency in agency policy." Oh well. I guess I still don't understand why any event was conducted involving NASA personnel and an organization under U.S. government trade actions for selling rocket technology to Iran. Indeed, it was formally scheduled - the ISS Crew Timeline for 12 October 2005 shows: "19:10-19:35 TV ISS-MCC Greetings dedicated 75th Anniversary of MAI (=19:10, 1,2, 3 from )". Clearly the HQ Office of External Relations wasn't in the approval loop for this. Or has this sort of diplomatic decision making been delegated to JSC?

- Statement by John A. Lauder, Director, DCI Nonproliferation Center to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Russian Proliferation to Iran's Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missile Programs, 5 October 2000

"Russian entities have helped the Iranian missile effort in areas such as training, testing, and components. These entities vary in size and cover a wide range of specialties. The scope of assistance is illustrated by the variety of organizations that have been subjects of US trade restrictions. ... Further, trade actions have been imposed against two major educational entities, the Moscow Aviation Institute and the Baltic State Technical University."

Editor's 23 Oct note: Is this an attempt to try and rehabilitate the image of the Moscow Aviation Institute after being hit with U.S. trade actions for its dealings with Iran, or is this another instance where NASA PAO is utterly oblivious to what ill-advised message such a PR stunt sends as NASA pins its hopes for INA relaxation - at a time when some in Russia are making public statements about wanting to help Iran with its rocket programs? Is this what Joe Davis calls "strategic communication?"

- Russians help Iran with missile threat to Europe, The Telegraph

"Rice, the US secretary of state, clashed with Russian officials over Iran's nuclear programme during a visit to Moscow yesterday, saying that Teheran must fulfil its obligations under the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty."

- Moscow Angrily Denies Russias Role in Iran Missile Program, mosnews.com

"Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov angrily refuted a British newspaper report alleging that former members of the Russian military have been secretly helping Iran to make missiles capable of hitting European capitals. The top official dismissed allegations as "sheer nonsense"."

- Companies Blacklisted for Iran Links, Moscow Times, 5 April 2004

"The other Russian entities that remain on the blacklist are the Baltic State Technical University of St. Petersburg, Glavkosmos of Moscow, the Moscow Aviation Institute and the D. Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology of Russia."

- Nonproliferation: What you need to know about Treasury Restrictions, Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of the Treasury

"MAI (a.k.a. MOSCOW AVIATION INSTITUTE), wherever located, including 4 Volokolamskoye Shosse, Moscow 125871, Russia [64 FR 2935, January 8, 1999]"

- U.S. penalizes Russian institutions accused of helping Iran, CNN, 12 January 1999

"The three -- the Scientific Research and Design Institute of Power and Technology, known by the Russian acronym NIKIET; the Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology; and the Moscow Aviation Institute -- join seven other institutions sanctioned last July for similar cooperation with Iranian agencies."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on November 7, 2005 4:00 PM.

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