News Briefs

May 24, 2011
The United States sanctioned seven energy firms for supplying gasoline and other refined petroleum products to Iran in violation of U.S. law. The firms sanctioned were Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PdVSA); Petrochemical Commercial Company International (PCCI) of Jersey, United Kingdom; Royal Oyster Group and Speedy Ship of the United Arab Emirates; Tanker Pacific of Singapore; Ofer Brothers Group of Israel; and Associated Shipbroking of Monaco. According to the U.S. State Department, PdVSA supplied Iran with a blending component used to improve gasoline; PCCI, Royal Oyster and Speedy Ship for shipped refined petroleum products to Iran; and Tanker Pacific, Ofer Brothers and Associated Shipbroking helped provide Iran with a tanker. Separately, the State Department also sanctioned sixteen entities under a nonproliferation act, including entities in Belarus, China, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela.
-- Wall Street Journal
May 24, 2011
Iran has conducted research to develop nuclear triggering technologies, according to a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which claims to have evidence of the work. Iranian efforts have focused on the compression of uranium deuteride, a technique which experts believe has been used by Pakistan and China.
-- New York Times
May 22, 2011
Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announced the delivery of Iran's domestically-manufactured Qiam missile to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iran successfully test-fired the liquid-fueled, surface-to-surface missile on August 20, 2010.
-- Press TV
May 17, 2011
Iran's state-owned Bank of Industry and Mine (BIM) was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, freezing its assets. The Treasury Department alleged that BIM provided financial services to Bank Mellat and Europaisch Iranische Handelsbank (EIH), two banks previously designated in connection with Iran's nuclear program, enabling them to circumvent international sanctions.
-- Agence France-Presse
May 17, 2011
A San Diego federal grand jury indicted two Belgians, Willy A.E. De Greef, 70, and Frederic Roland Nicholas Depelchin, 39, for obtaining aircraft and helicopter parts from U.S. suppliers and transferring them to Iran. The parts were allegedly purchased through two Belgium-based companies, Meca Airway Ltd. and Meca Overseas Airways Ltd., which De Greef and Depelchin co-owned. De Greef was arrested in London, but Depelchin is still at large.
-- San Diego Union-Tribune
May 15, 2011
According to a leaked U.N. report, Iran and North Korea have regularly exchanged ballistic missile technology in violation of sanctions on both countries. Restricted missile-related items were suspected to have been shipped by air on regular scheduled flights of Air Koryo and Iran Air. According to several diplomats, China was used as a transhipment point for some of these shipments, and Chinese diplomats, objecting to the report, are likely to prevent its official release by the U.N. Security Council.
-- Reuters
May 10, 2011
A United Nations panel found that sanctions have slowed Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. While Iran continues to use front companies and other methods to circumvent sanctions and obtained restricted items and conventional weapons, it has become more difficult for Iranian programs to obtain nuclear and missile-related items. In response, according to the report, Tehran is increasingly seeking technologies that are not restricted by sanctions but which would allow Iran to improve its indigenous production of controlled items.
-- Associated Press
May 10, 2011
Atomstroyexport, Russia's state-owned nuclear company, announced that the Bushehr reactor had begun operating at a low power level. The plant had been scheduled to go online earlier in 2011, but had been delayed due to technical difficulties.
-- Reuters
April 11, 2011
Iran has successfully tested two advanced centrifuges (the IR2-M and the IR-4) at its Natanz enrichment plant, according to the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Fereydoun Abbasi. Abbasi said these centrifuge models were ready for use. If these new centrifuges perform well, and if they can be deployed in sufficient numbers, Iran could produce about six times more enriched uranium per machine than is produced by the IR-1 centrifuges currently in use, according to a former head of safeguards at the International Atomic Energy Agency.
-- Washington Post
April 9, 2011
Iran’s foreign minister confirmed allegations made by an exiled Iranian opposition group in Washington that the TABA facility, a factory west of Tehran, was producing centrifuge parts, including centrifuge casings, molecular pumps, tubes and bellows.
-- Associated Press

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