Iran Nuclear NewsJapan freezes Iranian assets over nuclear activities

Japan freezes Iranian assets over nuclear activities

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ImageAFP: Japan announced on Tuesday that it has frozen the assets of Iranians alleged to be involved in the country's nuclear programme, in line with UN sanctions.

ImageTOKYO (AFP) — Japan announced on Tuesday that it has frozen the assets of Iranians alleged to be involved in the country's nuclear programme, in line with UN sanctions.

A foreign ministry statement said Japan has frozen the assets of 12 entities and 13 individuals accused of links to "Iran's sensitive nuclear activities and proliferation."

Japan has already blacklisted another 23 Iranian organisations and 27 individuals over the country's nuclear drive.

The latest individuals and entities whose assets have been frozen were named under a UN Security Council resolution passed last month that tightened sanctions against Tehran for refusing to halt sensitive nuclear fuel work.

The blacklisted entities include the Abzar Boresh Kaveh Co., which is involved in the production of centrifuge components, and Joza Industrial Co., a front company involved in ballistic missiles, the statement said.

Japan, which is heavily dependent on Middle Eastern oil, maintains trade ties and cordial diplomatic relations with Iran, in a rare break with Tokyo's main ally, the United States.

But Japan, the only nation to have suffered atomic attack, has grown increasingly critical of Iran's nuclear drive. In 2006, Tokyo pulled out of a project to develop Iran's largest onshore oilfield at Azadegan.

The latest Japanese move came as a senior official of the UN nuclear watchdog visited Tehran to discuss evidence suggesting that Iran could have been studying how to use its nuclear technology to make a warheads.

Iran, which insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful and aimed solely at generating energy, has denounced the assertions as fake.

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