China May Limit Anti-WMD Work Over Iran Sanctions Dispute

Global Security Newswire Staff
April 30, 2014, 8:07 a.m.

China said it may lim­it its “coun­ter­pro­lif­er­a­tion” work with Wash­ing­ton over U.S. steps to pun­ish an ac­cused vi­ol­at­or of Ir­an sanc­tions, Re­u­ters re­ports.

China’s for­eign min­istry on Wed­nes­day said Beijing “res­ol­utely op­poses” new U.S. ac­tions to tar­get Li Fang­wei, a Chinese en­tre­pren­eur de­scribed by the Treas­ury De­part­ment as a “known pro­lif­er­at­or for Ir­an’s bal­list­ic mis­sile pro­gram.” Treas­ury on Tues­day an­nounced pen­al­ties against eight firms op­er­ated by Li, and the State De­part­ment an­nounced a $5 mil­lion bounty in a bid to de­tain him, Re­u­ters re­por­ted sep­ar­ately.

Fed­er­al pro­sec­utors on Tues­day ac­cused Li of evad­ing pri­or U.S. pen­al­ties through an ex­pand­ing ar­ray of front firms, the Wall Street Journ­al re­por­ted. They seized $6.9 mil­lion in money linked to the al­leged pro­lif­er­at­or, ac­cord­ing to Re­u­ters.

Dav­id Co­hen, Treas­ury De­part­ment un­der sec­ret­ary for ter­ror­ism and fin­an­cial in­tel­li­gence, said the United States “will con­tin­ue vig­or­ously to en­force [its] sanc­tions, even as we ex­plore the pos­sib­il­ity of a com­pre­hens­ive deal ad­dress­ing Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram.”

Beijing is one of five gov­ern­ments work­ing with Wash­ing­ton in an on­go­ing mul­ti­lat­er­al dia­logue on Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram. Wash­ing­ton and oth­er West­ern gov­ern­ments hope the talks will lead to long-term lim­its on Ir­an’s weapon-us­able nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies, though Tehran in­sists its atom­ic in­ten­tions are peace­ful.

“The U.S. [ac­tions against Li] won’t help solve the prob­lem and will also im­pair our non­pro­lif­er­a­tion co­oper­a­tion,” the Journ­al quoted for­eign min­istry spokes­man Qin Gang as say­ing. “We urge the U.S. to stop sanc­tions of com­pan­ies and in­di­vidu­als and come back to the right track of non­pro­lif­er­a­tion co­oper­a­tion.”

He ad­ded that Beijing closely mon­it­ors its own trade rules and would “ser­i­ously deal” with any breaches, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

Li has as­ser­ted in­no­cence in the past, but he was un­avail­able on Tues­day to re­spond to the latest U.S. ac­tions.

What We're Following See More »
FHFA RULES APPLY
Judge: Freddie Mac Doesn’t Have to Open Its Books
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Freddie Mac shareholders cannot force the mortgage finance company to allow them to inspect its records, a federal court ruled Tuesday." A shareholder had asked the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to allow him to inspect its books and records, as Virginia law allows him to do. "The court held that Freddie shareholders no longer possess a right to inspect the company’s records because those rights had been transferred to the Federal Housing Finance Agency when the company entered into conservatorship in 2008."

Source:
MANY BEING TRADED ON BLACK MARKET
Pentagon Can’t Account for 750k Guns Provided to Iraq, Afghanistan
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The Pentagon has "provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns." Trouble is, it can only account for about 700,000 of those guns. The rest are part of a vast arms trading network in the Middle East. "Taken together, the weapons were part of a vast and sometimes minimally supervised flow of arms from a superpower to armies and militias often compromised by poor training, desertion, corruption and patterns of human rights abuses."

Source:
SINCE JANUARY
Baltimore Is Spying on Its Residents from the Air
4 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"Since the beginning of the year, the Baltimore Police Department" has been using a Cessna airplane armed with sophisticated camera equipment "to investigate all sorts of crimes, from property thefts to shootings." The public hasn't been notified about the system, funded by a private citizen.

Source:
COST HAS RISEN 400%
EpiPen Prices Draw Scrutiny from Congress
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The cost of EpiPens have risen 400% since 2007, and members of Congress increasingly want to know why. Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to Mylan, which makes the allergy injection devices, on Monday. “Many of the children who are prescribed EpiPens are covered by Medicaid, and therefore, the taxpayers are picking up the tab for this medication," he wrote. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) "called earlier for a Judiciary Committee inquiry into the pricing and an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission."

Source:
INTEL, AIR POWER
U.S. May Aid Turkey in Fight Against ISIS
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The U.S. is considering providing military support for hundreds of Turkish-backed rebels massing at the border with Syria for a major offensive meant to sever Islamic State’s supply routes there, officials from both countries said." As Turkey looks to reestablish its military's credibility after the recent coup attempt there, the U.S. is considering providing intelligence and air support.

Source:
×