WSJ: Fresh Clues of Iranian Nuclear Intrigue
Today's Wall Street Journal contains a detailed report describing Iran's efforts to evade U.S. and U.N. sanctions by acquiring various metals from China that could be used in weapons, including long-range missiles.
Records obtained by the WSJ show that an Iranian company, ABAN Commercial & Industrial Ltd., contracted through an intermediary for more than 30,000 kilograms (about 66,000 pounds) of tungsten copper -- which can be used in missile guidance systems -- from Advanced Technology & Materials Co. Ltd. of Beijing. The article notes that "the high-performance metals Iran has been acquiring also have industrial uses such as commercial aviation and manufacturing, making it difficult for intelligence agencies to be absolutely certain how the materials are being used."
The article also describes the United Arab Emirates efforts to interdict shipments of materials bound for Iran (see previous post regarding U.S.-UAE nuclear agreement). For example, the article states that:
The United Arab Emirates has informed the U.S. that in September it intercepted a Chinese shipment headed to Iran of specialized aluminum sheets that can be used to make ballistic missiles. A month earlier, UAE officials also intercepted an Iran-bound shipment of titanium sheets that can be used in long-range missiles, according to a recent letter to the U.S. Commerce Department from the UAE's Washington ambassador.The article also indicates that "documents detailing Iran's metals acquisition efforts are being reviewed by U.S. law-enforcement and intelligence officials" and that Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau is conducting a broad inquiry into illegal transactions by Iran.
Labels: Sanctions; Iran