U.N. analysts said an apparent drop in Iran’s arms-usable imports may mean Tehran is hiding banned acquisitions with growing success, Reuters reports.
The development may alternately reflect a slowdown in Iran’s efforts to obtain atomic and missile components in breach of international sanctions, says an unreleased U.N. Panel of Experts assessment described in a Monday news article. The drop-off in detected procurement attempts coincides with a series of multilateral discussions intended to defuse fears that Tehran’s atomic activities are geared toward nuclear-arms development.
The document highlights an “ongoing” panel investigation of titanium tubes found hidden inside steel piping sent from China to Iran. The analysis notes no specific atomic uses for the components, which were requested by the Iranian firm Ocean Lotka International Shipping and Forwarding.
The U.N. experts advised other nations to increase their scrutiny of intermediary companies, warning that Iran could tap such entities to hide the ultimate recipients and uses of prohibited technologies.
“In three cases inspected under the current mandate, names of freight forwarders were recorded on shipping documentation in the place of consignors or consignees,” the document states.
The expert panel separately referenced a probe still in progress on possible steps to procure valves from Germany and India for use at Iran’s Arak heavy-water reactor. Citing data from German prosecutors, the document says an Iranian company successfully obtained more than 65 percent of nearly 1,800 such components it is believed to have requested from 2007 to 2011.
The Iranian firm — called Modern Industries Technique Company — has been targeted by international penalties since 2010 over its work on the Arak facility. Iran has tentatively offered to alter the unopened reactor site to reduce its anticipated output of bomb-usable plutonium.
What We're Following See More »
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that "there was “precedent” for a Supreme Court with fewer than nine justices—appearing to suggest that the blockade on nominee Merrick Garland could last past the election." Speaking to reporters in Colorado, Cruz said: "I would note, just recently, that Justice Breyer observed that the vacancy is not impacting the ability of the court to do its job. That’s a debate that we are going to have.”
The Democratic National Committee sued the Republican National Committee in U.S. District Court in New Jersey for aiding GOP nominee Donald Trump as he argues that the presidential election is "rigged." The DNC claims "that Trump's argument is designed to suppress the vote in minority communities."
"Two chief fundraisers for the Clinton Foundation pressed corporate donors to steer business opportunities to former President Bill Clinton as well, according to a hacked memo published Wednesday by WikiLeaks. The November 2011 memo from Douglas Band, at the time a top aide to Mr. Clinton, outlines extensive fundraising efforts that Mr. Band and a partner deployed on behalf of the Clinton Foundation and how that work sometimes translated into large speaking fees and other paid work for Mr. Clinton."
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz plans to spend "years, come January, probing the record of a President Hillary Clinton." Chaffetz told the Washington Post: “It’s a target-rich environment. Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department, and it ain’t good.”