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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Two Chinese companies deny dealings with Iran, Syria

BEIJING, China(AFP) - Two Chinese companies, hit with fresh US sanctions aimed at stopping banned military dealings with Iran and Syria, denied Tuesday that they were doing business with the two nations.

"We don't have any military dealings with either Iran or Syria," Wang Qing, secretary of manager of Beijing-based China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation, told AFP.

The Zibo Chemet Equipment Company (China), another company that is targeted by the sanctions announced by Washington on Monday, also denied any involvement.

"We used to have a little business with Iran and Syria, but no more now," said an official surnamed Wang, with the international trading department of the company that is based in the eastern province of Shandong.

The Shanghai Non-Ferrous Metals Pudong Development Trade Company, the last Chinese company on the list, was not immediately available for comment.

The three firms, along with another 11 entities from various countries, were accused by Washington of transferring to or buying from Iran or Syria materials related to cruise or ballistic missile systems or weapons of mass destruction.

Under the Iran and Syria Nonproliferation Act, the 14 are barred from doing business with or receiving aid from any US government agencies for two years.

US State Department officials refused to elaborate on specific charges against any of the named entities, saying this could reveal classified intelligence information.

The two Chinese firms contacted by AFP said they had not been officially informed of the new sanctions.

But Wang from China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation said his company was already the subject of previous sanctions from the United States.

"We have been on their list for a long time. The old sanctions are not over yet. (The sanctions) hurt our business," Wang said.

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