Austria foils tech-smuggling to Iran

Authorities at Vienna's international airport foiled an attempt to ship technology with potential dual uses to Iran last summer, a government spokesman said Tuesday. Authorities discovered the equipment in early August 2005, Interior Ministry spokesman Rudolf Gollia said, adding that a company in the southern province of Styria had tried to export it. The equipment seized was a "friction tester" that is used to determine the sensitivity to friction of various substances, Gollia said. It was manufactured by a German company, he said. He declined to immediately provide further details, citing an ongoing investigation into the matter. Dual-use technology refers to products and materials that have military as well as civilian uses.