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Metal-swap deals with Iran may have skirted sanctions

UNITED NATIONS - Metals swap deals with Iran by Switzerland-based commodities giants Glencore Xstrata and Trafigura could have been a way of skirting international sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program, according to a confidential UN Panel of Experts report seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
Reuters reported on March 1 that Glencore had supplied thousands of tons of alumina to an Iranian firm that has provided aluminum to Iran's nuclear program, an allegation Glencore confirmed as accurate. Afterward, Trafigura acknowledged it had also traded with the same Iranian firm.Swiss authorities said at the time that they saw no evidence of UN or Swiss sanctions violations by Glencore, but the UN experts, who monitor compliance with the Iran sanctions regime, raised the possibility that the swap deals were a means of flouting restrictions on trade with Iran.
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