THE BUSHEHR nuclear plant in southern Iran 58.
(photo credit: AP)
BERLIN – Authorities in the Netherlands improperly supplied nuclear equipment to
the sanctioned Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), the Dutch Economic
Affairs Ministry wrote in an October 4 letter obtained by The Jerusalem
According to Economic Affairs Minister Maria van der Hoeven’s
letter, “That shipment contained a helium-leak detector, which was ordered by
the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in line with its technical
cooperation program with Iran, [but] was shipped to a banned recipient
The UN agency’s involvement in the delivery of EUsanctioned
material raises thorny questions about the role of the IAEA in monitoring Iran’s
illicit proliferation efforts.
The American government sanctioned the
AEOI under an executive order and the US Treasury Department noted that “The
AEOI manages Iran’s overall nuclear program and reports directly to the Iranian
According to Van der Hoeven’s letter, a second illicit
shipment “consisted of products under embargo (pressure meters) for the Iranian
oil and gas industry.”
Ruud Stevens, a spokesman for the Dutch Economics
Ministry, wrote the Post by e-mail on Thursday that “the letter of October 4 was
a letter to the Dutch parliament from three ministers – economic affairs,
finance (customs) and foreign affairs – about goods that because of the
sanctions were not supposed to leave the Netherlands.
“Since the goods
left the customs territory of the European Union before the error was
discovered, there was no possibility for our customs to stop the goods from
The public prosecutor is currently examining whether
there is sufficient information for prosecution of the exporters for violation
of the sanctions legislation.”
Stevens added that “The Dutch authorities
and Dutch customs are currently working on implementation of the new UN and EU
sanctions against Iran.”
In a telephone interview with the Post on
Thursday, a spokesman for the IAEA in Vienna said that “we do have technical
cooperation with Iran and other states.”
When asked about the delivery of
nuclear equipment ordered by the IAEA to a USrestricted Iranian entity, AEOI,
the spokesman could not immediately comment.
It is unclear if the IAEA
improperly supplied a sanctioned Iranian entity with equipment. The delivery of
the Dutch material violated EU sanctions.
The Atomic Energy Organization
of Iran is the main official body responsible for implementing regulations and
operating nuclear energy installations in Iran.
Yanaï Bar, the
coordinator of the Iran Committee in the Netherlands, told the Post on
Wednesday, that “The Iran Committee is disappointed to see that after all the
labor it took to formulate sanctions to punish Iran for not cooperating
satisfactorily with the IAEA, the sanctions are not always being implemented
The Iran Committee seeks to stop Iran’s nuclear program and
to improve human rights conditions in Iran.
“The minister of economic
affairs must guarantee she will do all she can to ensure that mechanisms are in
place to guarantee that the sanctions are implemented on the ground. Publishing
far and wide a list with forbidden products and prosecuting those who breach the
regulations would be a good start,” Bar said.