Wednesday, June 14, 2006

US Cites Four Chinese Firms For Helping Iran WMDs

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Jun 14, 2006

The United States Tuesday cited four Chinese companies and one US firm as "proliferators of weapons of mass destruction," for allegedly helping Iran's missile program. "The companies targeted today have supplied Iran's military and Iranian proliferators with missile-related and dual-use components," said Stuart Levey, US Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

"Governments worldwide are urged to take appropriate measures to ensure that their companies and financial institutions are not facilitating Iran's proliferation activities."

The designation calls for a freeze of any assets the companies may have under US jurisdiction.

The Chinese companies designated are Beijing Alite Technologies Company, Ltd. (ALCO), LIMMT Economic and Trade Company, Ltd., China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), and China National Precision Machinery Import/Export Corporation (CPMIEC).

Also cited was the US representative office of CGWIC, GW Aerospace, Inc, in Torrance, California.

"The Chinese firms have provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological or other support for, or goods or services in support of" Iranian missile programs that are capable of delivering WMDs, according to a Treasury statement.

Among the weapons produced in the program are the Fateh-110 missile, with a range of 200 kilometers (120 miles), and the Fajr rocket systems, a series of North Korean-designed rockets with ranges of between 40 and 100 kilometers, the statement said. Both systems are capable of being armed with at least chemical warheads.

The action is based on an executive order from June 29, 2005 by President George W. Bush calling for financial sanctions against entities and individuals providing support or services to countries producing weapons of mass destruction.

The US government has applied various sanctions against the four Chinese companies in the past.

The move comes amid mounting concerns among Western governments that Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian atomic energy program. Tehran denies the allegations.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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