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Friday, December 30, 2005

US imposes sanctions on Indian and Chinese companies that dealt with Iran

Various articles on US sanctions imposes on companies that dealt with Iran in recent years.

India firms to US: We didn’t break law
The Asian Age India | Ramesh Ramachandran

New Delhi: The two Indian companies sanctioned by the United States government for supplying chemicals to Iran say the shipments were as per Indian law and the guidelines under the Chemical Weapons Convention were complied with.

The vice-chairman of Mumbai-based Sabero Organics Gujarat Limited, Mr Mohit Chuganee, said the ministry of external affairs and the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers had found no discrepancy in the business transaction.

Mr Smit Patel of Sandhya Organic Chemical Private Limited, in turn, said he was surprised to learn about the imposition of the sanctions despite adhering to all India laws and the relevant international guidelines. Mr Patel would not take more questions and chose to conclude his remarks by stating that the supply of chemicals were not without the approval of the government agencies concerned. However, Mr Chugging] was more forthcoming.

"There had been extensive contacts with the ministry of external affairs and the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers before and after the one-time shipment of 90 tonnes of trimethyl phosphite two years ago," Mr Chuganee told this newspaper. He, however, acknowledged that the government did suggest sometime ago that while the shipment was as per rules, politically it would better if the business transaction was terminated and further shipment discontinued with.

He said trimethyl phosphite was a dual-use chemical notified under Schedule Three of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Some 150 countries are signatories to the Convention, including India, Iran and the United States.

"We were in touch with both the director general of foreign trade (DGFT) and the department of chemicals and petrochemicals under the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers, which is the nodal agency designated under the Chemical Weapons Convention," he said. He said the Iranian company called Raja Shimi wanted to buy more quantities of the chemical but he chose not to process the request.

"The [decision to exercise the] option was ours," he said, who is in the business for the past decade.

Washington, meanwhile, maintained that the sanctions were based on "credible evidence". State department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said, "[The sanctions are] an important and effective tool in constraining Iran's efforts to develop missile and WMD capabilities."

China opposes U.S. sanctions on companies for arm transfers to Iran+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)BEIJING, Dec. 29_(Kyodo) _ China slammed Thursday a U.S. decision to impose sanctions on six Chinese companies for allegedly transferring weapons technology to Iran.

"We express our strong dissatisfaction as well as firmly oppose the U.S. method of imposing sanctions on Chinese companies," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

China has "consistently taken a responsible attitude" toward nonproliferation of weapons technology, Qin said, adding the U.S. decision is not beneficial for cooperation between the two countries.

The U.S. State Department said Tuesday the government has decided to impose sanctions on nine companies -- six from China, two from India and one from Austria.

The sanctions come amid increasing concern in the United States and Europe about Iran's nuclear intentions and the transfer of weapons technology into Iran.
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