Daily Israel Report

Spanish Firm Caught in Iran Nuclear Scandal

A Spanish firm has been caught smuggling equipment to Iran for probable use in its nuclear development program, Spain's tax authority says.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 11/27/2012, 12:46 AM

iran espionage continues
iran espionage continues
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A Spanish firm has been caught smuggling equipment to Iran for probable use in its nuclear development program, Spain's tax authority announced to reporters on Monday.

The company, ONA Electroerosion, was identified by a source close to the operation, which involved a shell company in Turkey.

The firm, located in Spain's Basque country, reportedly sent more than seven machines that manufacture parts for turbines used in energy plants. The sale was worth $1.3 million (nearly 1 million euros).

The export of such equipment is a violation of the United Nations Security Council international sanctions imposed on Iran in order to force the country to comply with an order to cease its uranium enrichment program.

According to investigators in Spain's Tax Authority, the machines were destined for use by the Islamic Republic in its nuclear development project.

Iran has denied that its nuclear activities are intended for anything other than peaceful domestic purposes. However, it has refused to cease its uranium enrichment program. In the past year Tehran has ratcheted up the project  and succeeded in enriching uranium beyond the 20 percent level – the point at which it can be used as military-grade nuclear fuel.

One year ago, the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Iran's nuclear development activities had become “worrisome.” Recently the agency underscored the point, adding that Tehran has been unwilling to cooperate with its investigators as they seek answers to questions about their suspicions.

Intelligence analysts in both the U.S. and Israel are convinced that Iran is involved in creating an atomic weapon.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic continues to reiterate its intention to “wipe Israel off the map.” Tehran has also openly admitted to supplying technology, arms, training and funds to terrorist organizations bent on Israel's destruction, located within the Jewish State, as well as on its northern and southern borders.