AFP: Iran is attempting to acquire clandestine shipments via Canada for its nuclear program, a senior customs official said Thursday. OTTAWA (AFP) — Iran is attempting to acquire clandestine shipments via Canada for its nuclear program, a senior customs official said Thursday.
Canadian customs officers have seized everything from centrifuge parts to programmable logic controllers being shipped to Iran through third countries, George Webb, head of the Canada Border Services Agency's Counter Proliferation Section, told the National Post.
The increasing number of cases involves entrepreneurs and state-sponsored cells, Webb told the daily, in comments that were confirmed to AFP by a spokeswoman for CBSA.
Microchips identified as possible "navigational chips" from the United States, Denmark and Japan were marked as headed for the United Arab Emirates, but officials suspect the end destination was Iran, said the Canadian daily.
"With all of the UN sanctions, of course, now no one declares that the goods are going to Iran. They actually declare UAE, Dubai," he said.
The last seizure occurred just last week.
In April, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police charged a Toronto man with attempting to export pressure transducers, which can be used in nuclear power plants but are also required to produce nuclear weapons, to Iran.
Mahmoud Yadegari is to be tried in January for attempting to ship the items to Iran via Dubai.
In another case, high pressure pipes from Texas were originally suspected of containing Mexican drugs, but turned out to be for nuclear use in Iran.
However, "arrests are rare because the procurement cells are difficult to identify," the newspaper said.
Webb also revealed authorities had recently discovered a new port in the Persian Gulf named Ras al-Khaimah being used to transship goods to Iran.
The port is nominally in the UAE, but is controlled by Iran and is situated just across the Gulf from Bandar Abbas, an Iranian city with a naval base and an airport capable of landing large transport planes, he said.