by Staff Writers
Stockholm (AFP) Dec 04, 2012
A Swedish man who tried to send equipment out of the country that could be used for uranium enrichment has been charged with breaking international sanctions against Iran, a prosecutor said on Tuesday.
According to an indictment, Shabab Ghasri last year used a company based in the southern town of Lund to try to sell 11 advanced valves to Iran.
The 31 year-old Swede of Iranian origin, who denies the charges, is alleged to have planned to circumvent international sanctions against Iran by first sending the equipment to Dubai.
While it was technically possible to use the non-corrosive valves in the oil and gas industry, they were "of unnecessarily high quality" to be used for anything but uranium enrichment, said Daniel Nord at the Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation.
"They have properties you don't need for other processes," he said.
The shipment was discovered by Swedish custom officials.
Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful but many in the international community suspect its real aim is to develop nuclear weapons.
The UN Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions on the country which have been augmented this year by painful Western restrictions on its vital oil exports, leading to serious economic problems.
However, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said last month that the sanctions are failing to have any effect on the Iranian nuclear programme.
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