Bahrain, UAE probe suspicious shipments headed to Iran

September 19, 2012 01:26

UNITED NATIONS - Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have confiscated a number of items Iran may have sought for its nuclear program, a development that diplomats said showed how enforcement of UN sanctions against Tehran is steadily improving.

One of the items heading to Iran but confiscated by Bahrain was carbon fiber, the diplomats told Reuters, a dual-use material UN experts have said would be crucial if Iran was to develop more advanced nuclear enrichment centrifuge technology.

Bahrain's and UAE's confidential reports to the UN Security Council's Iran sanctions committee are politically significant, envoys said on condition of anonymity, since they highlight how more and more states are enforcing the sanctions and making it increasingly difficult for Tehran to flout them.

"The fact that these two countries are now taking steps to enforce the sanctions and reporting those steps to the UN is remarkable by itself," a senior Security Council diplomat told Reuters. "It shows that the UN sanctions regime can work. UAE has been one of Iran's enablers. Iran's becoming more isolated."

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