Iran Focus: London, Mar 07 A Dubai-based company owned by the Iranian government has been used by Irans Ministry of Defence to procure a key component needed for production of nuclear bombs, Iran Focus has learnt.
London, Mar. 07 A Dubai-based company owned by the Iranian government has been used by Irans Ministry of Defence to procure a key component needed for production of nuclear bombs, Iran Focus has learnt.
Sources inside the Iranian government have informed Iran Focus that the Dubai-based Gulf Resources Development Corporation (GRDC) has smuggled sizeable quantities of a type of graphite known as ceramic matrix composite (CMC) from China to Iran.
Ceramic matrix composite is used in the construction of nuclear bombs and preservation of highly enriched uranium. Without CMC insulation, highly enriched uranium cannot be placed in a bomb structure because of high radiation.
Although CMC is a dual-use item, international trading of CMC is prohibited for use in nuclear weapons under the Missile Technology Control Regime.
The Iranian Defence Ministrys front company, Gulf Resources Development Corporation, set up its Dubai subsidiary in 1995. Iran has been using the Dubai-based company for over a decade to procure sensitive precursors for its secret military projects, taking advantage of the ports lax controls, free tax, and convenient banking facilities.
GRDC is not the only Iranian front company operating in Dubai, according to the sources who spoke to Iran Focus. As early as March 1989, a firm owned by the Indian government was reported to have shipped 60 tons of thionyl chloride, which can be used to manufacture mustard gas and nerve agents, to Iran via Dubai. In later years, Iran used front companies in Dubai to illegally import centrifuge parts, sensitive computer components, encryption devices, and a range of blacklisted materials with military use.
The chief executive officer of GRDC, Raouf Mashayekh, is an Iranian national based in Dubai. He frequently visits Iran, according to the well-informed sources, for meetings with officials in Irans military industries, who are his clients. The sources identified the Ministry of Defence official responsible for the procurement of CMC as a Mr. Tabatabai.
Iran has recently mastered the technique of producing CMC indigenously, the sources said. Research on CMC is conducted in Malek Ashtar University of Technology, which is affiliated to the Ministry of Defence. The MoD is also using the heat-resistant graphite composite in its missile industry, the sources said.