Britain tells U.N. of Iranian attempts to buy nuclear technology


(JTA) — Britain last year warned the United Nations about attempts by Iran to buy uranium enrichment technology on the black market.

In an annual report, obtained by the Reuters news agency, a U.N. panel of experts responsible for monitoring compliance with the sanctions regime revealed that Britain’s government “informed the panel on 20 April 2015 that it is aware of an active Iranian nuclear procurement network” associated with Iran’s Centrifuge Technology Company and Kalay Electric Company, or TESA and KEC respectively, Reuters reported Thursday.

The network, according to the report, was set up to circumvent sanctions imposed on Iran’s nuclear program amid allegations that it was geared toward producing nuclear arms and avoiding compliance with requests for inspection.

KEC is under Security Council sanctions while TESA is under American and E.U. sanctions for their suspected involvement in developing centrifuges for a uranium enrichment program banned by the U.N.

The report comes as Iran and six world powers, including the United States, are negotiating the final terms of an agreement for lifting some sanction in exchange for scaling back the Iranian nuclear program placing it under international oversight. It is scheduled to be reach by July 1.

Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has opposed the framework for the deal, insisting that Iran must not be allowed to retain any of its infrastructure for enriching uranium, for fear it would lie to inspectors and advance to a position that would allow it to obtain offensive capabilities too quickly for Western powers to mobilize to prevent its from going nuclear.

Iran denies that is seeking to obtain or develop nuclear weapons.

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