U.S. officials said state-owned companies primarily from China but also from Belarus, North
Korea, Russia and Ukraine have contributed to Iran's Shihab-3 intermediate missile program. They
said the aid has been in the form of exports of missile components and
For the first time, officials said, a company in a NATO ally also sold
missile and WMD components to Iran. That company was identified as being
located in Spain.
On Sept. 29, the State Department imposed sanctions on 14 foreign firms
and individuals regarding the sale of missile and WMD technology and
equipment to Iran. Officials said seven of those sanctioned were from China.
So far, 23 foreign entities have been sanctioned under the Iran
Nonproliferation Act, Middle East Newsline reported. The legislation was meant to halt the sale of cruise
and ballistic missile equipment and expertise as well as WMD technology to
Officials acknowledge that sanctions have not stopped many of these
companies from Iranian missile and WMD contracts. The Chinese state-owned
North Industries Corp., or Norinco, has been sanctioned several times for
selling missile and WMD components to Iran.
North Korea's Changgwang Sinyong Corp., a leading in missile
proliferation in the Middle East, has also been sanctioned numerous times,
including last week. Changgwang is the state arms export agency of
No government was sanctioned despite the acknowledgement by officials that
several of the companies cited by the State Department were state-owned.
Officials said the sanctions marked the most sweeping action by the
State Department under the Iran Nonproliferation Act approved by Congress in
2000. They said the decision reflected concern by the Bush administration
that Iran was rapidly completing its nuclear weapons as well as
intermediate-range missile delivery systems.
"In many cases the imposition of successive sanctions, one on top of the
other, the main effect is to extend the period of time that entity would be
subject to sanctions for," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said.
"But it is a requirement of law that we make these determinations, and
impose sanctions. And somebody who has been doing something more recently
deserves to suffer the consequences for a longer period of time."
Boucher did not identify the exports to Iran. He said the equipment
comprised "items that have a potential of making a material
contribution to weapons of mass destruction of cruise or ballistic missiles,
items on U.S. national control lists for weapons of mass destruction or
Officials said the latest companies sanctioned reflected the range of
suppliers to Iran's missile and WMD programs. In addition to the seven from
China, the companies included two from India and one each from Belarus,
Russia, North Korea, Spain and Ukraine. The sanctions were meant to prevent
these companies or individuals from doing business with the U.S. government
or buying U.S. advanced technology equipment for two years.
Spain's Telstar was also sanctioned under the latest decision by the
State Department. Officials said Telstar was the first firm from a NATO ally
to face such U.S. penalties under the Iran Nonproliferation Act.