Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Iran acquiring nuclear parts from Europe - report

Iran Focus: an MEK website.
European firms are unknowingly providing Iran with much-needed nuclear parts which could be used in making nuclear bombs despite efforts by the international community to prevent Tehran from acquiring such a capability, the German weekly der Spiegel wrote on Monday.

The paper said that it had seen secret documents showing that Iran was secretly buying European-made sophisticated nuclear parts via South Korea. READ MORE

The French firm EADS Sodern was one such company involved in the illegal transactions though it was unaware of the final destination of its exports, the der Spiegel said.

According to the financial records for the deal, Tehran was busy buying 300 units of Nickel 63 (98.720 dollars) from the South Korean Kyung-Do Enterprises through an Iranian company called Partoris.

This radioactive material is needed for firing electrons used in a nuclear bomb’s trigger mechanism. Though this material can also be used in peaceful nuclear energy reactors, Tehran had requested units with a higher isotope level.

The paper said that further questions were raised at the decision by Tehran to carry out these purchases in absolute secrecy through Partoris’s front company called Parto Namaje Tolua.

The second secret deal was to obtain Tritium Targets. This duel-use material can be used inside neutron sources, causing a chain reaction inside a nuclear bomb. Tehran has had great difficulty in obtaining this material after the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog, tried to restrict the Islamic Republic from acquiring duel-use materials, according to der Spiegel.

It added that Tehran overcomes this barrier by instructing its South Korean partners to purchase the material from the French-based company EADS at $33,000, a price far higher than the its current value. Tehran then buys the material from the South Korean firms.

EADS is short for European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, which was formed as Europe’s largest aerospace company in July 2000 through the merger of the French Aerospatiale Matra S.A. (Paris), the Spanish Construcciones Aeronauticas S.A. (CASA, Madrid) and the German DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG (Dasa, Munich).

The latest revelations come at a time when the European troika of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom are putting forward a new set of offers to Tehran in an attempt to convince it to abandon its suspected nuclear weapons activities. The United States charges that Iran is pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program under the cover of civilian use.