'US urged China to stop commodities shipments to Iran'

WikiLeak documents reveals US official asked China to prevent its firms from sending dual-use commodities to Iran for use in its nuclear program.

January 23, 2011 16:52
2 minute read.
THE BUSHEHR nuclear plant in southern Iran will so

THE BUSHEHR nuclear plant in southern Iran 311. (photo credit: AP)


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Washington is trying to encourage China to make its companies aware of potential Iranian nuclear as a result of commodities the Chinese companies have provided Iranian firms involved in Teheran's nuclear program, according to a WikiLeaks document released last week.

The document said that the US is trying to advance a strategy to prevent shipments of commodities "of concern to Iran," and that officials are providing information about dealings between certain Chinese and Iranian firms "in an effort to encourage China to ensure such activities are not continued and to encourage China to adopt a similar proactive strategy of working with their companies to make them aware of potential Iranian procurement in support of its nuclear program."

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In the document, a US official highlights specific commodities that he states Iran has been trying to obtain through Chinese companies, including "high-strength aluminum alloys and vacuum pumps." These commodities, the document quotes the official as saying, are included in the "gas centrifuge procurement watch list" that was circulated to Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and Participating Governments (PGs).

Additionally, the official writes, "we believe that Iran may need to procure large amounts of high-strength carbon fiber to support the deployment of additional IR-2 and IR-3 centrifuges. Carbon fiber is included on the NSG's dual-use annex and gas centrifuge watch list circulated to NSG PGs."

The official then goes on to list several Chinese companies "that are capable of producing these or other sensitive, dual-use commodities," but the names of the companies are blacked-out in the document.

"We hope this information will assist you in your outreach to Chinese companies on your export control regulations as they apply to Iran. We would encourage you, as we have done domestically with our own firms, to ask these companies to contact appropriate authorities should they be approached by entities that may have ties to Iran."

The official concludes by saying that it would be "beneficial" if China notifies the US, the NSG, and the IAEA if any of the Chinese firms receive requests from Iranian companies.

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