U.S. hits Iranian firm with sanctions for 2nd time this week

Thursday, May 29, 2003

The United States has imposed two sets of sanctions on an Iranian firm in less than a week.

U.S. officials said the sanctions slapped on the state-owned Iranian military manufacturer related to the trade in missile technology. They said the technology was sought for Iran's Shihab-3 intermediate-range missile program.

The Iranian company was identified as the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group which is regarded as a key developer of Iran's Shihab-3 intermediate-range missile. The missile, with a range of 1,300 kilometers, is said to be based on North Korea's No-Dong missile.

Shahid Hemmat is the government's defense industrial agency, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said Shahid Hemmat has engaged in the procurement of missile and weapons of mass destruction technology and components.

On Wednesday, the State Department announced the latest sanctions on Shahid Hemmat as well as on companies from Moldvia. The department imposed sanctions on Shahid Hemmat on May 9 in what officials said were related to Wednesday's announcement.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Shahid Hemmat was sanctioned for "its material contribution to Iran's ballistic missile programs through its involvement in this activity." He said the Moldavian countries supplied Iran with missile technology.

The Moldavian firms were identified as Cuanta SA, Computer and Communicatii SRL, and Mikhail Pavlovich Vladov. In May 2002, Cuanta SA and Vladov were among 12 entities sanctioned for transferring sensitive technology and equipment to Iran.

The department said under the sanctions, Shahid Hemmat will not be able to trade with the United States until 2005. The company is not known to have any dealings with the United States.

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