‘Iran using China to smuggle goods for n-programme’
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As enforcement efforts have tightened globally, Iran is using China as a platform to smuggle sanctioned goods for its controversial nuclear programme, according to a US think-tank.
In a six-page report titled 'Ring Magnet for IR-1 Centrifuges', Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) alleged that Iran uses private Chinese front companies which provide suppliers with false end-user statements. In the case of high-tech goods, Iran seeks in China goods made in industrialised countries which these suppliers sell in the Chinese market. After acquiring the goods, smuggling networks arrange their shipment to Iran.
China is considered a transit between the supplier and Iran. Iran has sought vacuum pumps, leak detectors, and many others goods, all made by European, Japanese and US suppliers, it said.
The ISIS in its report said it obtained an enquiry posted on a Chinese commercial web site in late 2011 that shows an effort by an Iranian company to buy 100,000 ring magnets. Technical analysis by ISIS and a European government showed that these ring magnets match those used in Iran's first generation IR-1 gas centrifuge. "The ring magnets are magnetised, making them ready for use in IR-1 centrifuges. Since these can be used in Iran's centrifuge programme, their export to Iran is banned," it said.
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