Spanish Company Denies Trading With Iran
ONA Electroerosion, the Spanish company accused of smuggling equipment to Iran, on Tuesday denied having any part in the growing scandal. The company said in a statement that any exports made were above-board, and complied with all requirements.
On Monday, Spanish tax officials raided the company on suspicion that it had sent to Iran more than seven machines that manufacture parts for turbines used in energy plants. The sale was worth $1.3 million (nearly 1 million euros). Trade between the entire European Union and Iran is severely limited due to ongoing EU sanctions and UN Security Council regulations against trading with Tehran, unless and until it allows free access to its nuclear facilities by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
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.