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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

U.S. Cites China Firms for Supporting Iran Military

Wed, 14 Jun 2006, 00:50

The U.S. Treasury Department on June 13 named one U.S. and four Chinese companies as supporters of Iran’s military and Iranian weapons programs.

The designation, under an executive order issued by President George W. Bush in 2005, freezes those companies’ U.S. assets and outlaws U.S. firms or people from doing business with them.

The Chinese companies are Beijing Alite Technologies Co. Ltd., LIMMT Economic and Trade Co. Ltd., China Great Wall Industry Corp., and China National Precision Machinery Import/Export Corp.

The U.S. company, G.W. Aerospace Inc. of Torrance, California, is the representative office of China Great Wall Industry.

The Treasury Department designates firms or people under a range of executive orders and laws in an effort to stop flows of financing to countries, groups, or individuals it says are engaged in weapons proliferation, terrorism, or other illicit activities.

The executive order used in the June 13 announcement is aimed at choking off funding for weapons programs in North Korea, Iran, and Syria.

"Governments worldwide are urged to take appropriate measures to ensure that their companies and financial institutions are not facilitating Iran’s proliferation activities," Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey said in a statement.

The companies were named as the United States, Russia, France, China, Britain and Germany seek to pressure Iran to drop its nuclear program with the promise of rewards if it does so and sanctions if it does not.

U.S. officials have said they will continue to pursue financial and defensive restraints on Iran regardless of how Tehran responds to the offer.

The Treasury Department said the companies it designated helped or were trying to help Iranian companies that Bush has cited for involvement in Iran’s missile program, including the Aerospace Industries Organization and the Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group.
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