Contrary to US and International Atomic Energy Agency claims that Iran has been sticking to the terms of the November 2013 Limited Agreement, British officials have notified the United Nations that two Iranian firms specifically sanctioned are actively trying to obtain illicit materials:
“The UK government informed the Panel on 20 April 2015 that it ‘is aware of an active Iranian nuclear procurement network which has been associated with Iran’s Centrifuge Technology Company (TESA) and Kalay Electric Company (KEC)’,” the Panel of Experts said in its annual report. The panel monitors Iran’s compliance with the U.N. sanctions regime.
KEC is under U.N. Security Council sanctions while TESA is under U.S. and European Union sanctions due to their suspected links to banned Iranian nuclear activities.
Iran, which is has been under sanctions for years, has a long history of illicit nuclear procurement using front companies and other methods of skirting sanctions.
That has enabled it to develop a substantial atomic program in spite of aggressive international efforts to curtail it, U.N. diplomats say. But analysts and Western intelligence officials say sanctions have slowed the development of Tehran’s nuclear program.
The report release comes at a sensitive time as the Iran Deal negotiators enter the final stretch to hammer out a workable deal, agreeable to all sides, by the June 30 deadline. Regional tensions arising from the Yemeni Civil War, resulting in a naval standoff in the Strait of Hormuz between the US and Iranian Navies, could threaten the final deal outcome. Skeptical members of the US Senate, led by Marco Rubio, also could inadvertently provide political cover for a deal breakdown by adding additional measures to the Iran Nuclear Review Act against the wishes of the Obama Administration.
[Reuters][Photo Credit: Jerusalem Post]