The Czech Republic stopped Iran from making a major purchase of equipment that could be used in its nuclear program, Reuters reported Wednesday.
Some details of the attempted purchase were described in the latest annual report of an expert panel for the United Nations Security Council’s Iran sanctions committee, which has been seen by Reuters.
The panel said that in January Iran attempted to buy compressors – which have nuclear and non-nuclear applications – made by the U.S.-owned company Howden CKD Compressors. …
The U.N. panel, which monitors compliance with the U.N. sanctions regime, said there had been a “false end user” stated for the order.
Olli Heinonen, the former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, explained that compressors “can be used to extract enriched uranium directly from the [centrifuge] cascades” and that they could be “useful when working with higher enrichment such as 20 percent enriched uranium.”
Under the terms of the Joint Plan of Action agreement between Iran and the world negotiating powers, the Islamic Republic has converted all of its known 20 percent enriched uranium gas.
In addition to this thwarted sale of sanctioned equipment to Iran, the country has made other efforts to evade sanctions and acquire nuclear-related technology.
Last year, the United States accused Iran of attempting to purchase prohibited materials for its heavy water reactor at Arak. Experts fear that the plutonium produced by the heavy water reactor could be used as an alternate pathway for Iran to produce a nuclear bomb. Last year, Heinonen pointed out that there is evidence that Iran has purchased enough unaccounted-for carbon fiber to build 1,000 advanced centrifuges at an unknown location.
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