U.S. Sanctions Iranian Nuclear Proliferation Networks

December 13, 2012

           On December 13, the U.S. Treasury and State Department imposed sanctions on seven Iranian companies and five individuals for “proliferating weapons of mass destruction” pursuant to Executive Order 13382. The entities “provide the Iranian government unique goods, technology and services that increase the regime’s ability to enrich uranium and/or to construct a heavy water reactor.” Both are prohibited by U.N. Security Council resolutions. The following are excerpts from State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland’s statement.

            The designations of these entities and individuals pursuant to E.O. 13382, an executive authority for sanctioning entities for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters, carry consequences under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA). Foreign financial institutions that facilitate significant transactions to or from the sanctioned entities and individuals are exposed to potential loss of access to the U.S. financial sector. We hope those financial institutions will act in a manner that preserves their access to the U.S. financial system by cutting financial ties to these nuclear support companies. 
 
            Iranian private sector firms should note the business costs incurred by those who support prohibited nuclear activities and will choose to focus their activities on legitimate international commerce. The United States will continue to investigate and research similar activities, and additional nuclear support companies in Iran making direct and material contributions to the Iranian government’s ability to produce fissile material will likely be designated.
 
The individuals and entities being designated by the Department of the Treasury pursuant to E.O. 13382 today are:
 
Fereidoun Abbasi-Davani
 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued an order appointing Fereidoun Abassi¬ Davani ("Abbasi-Davani") as the Chief of AEOI in February 2011. Abbassi-Davani is being designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the AEOI.
 
Abbasi-Davani has been involved in the development and acceleration of activities related to uranium mining and the production of yellowcake, the material needed as feed for the process of uranium conversion, and ultimately uranium enrichment.
 
Prior to his current appointment, Abbasi-Davani officially worked as a professor at Shahid Beheshti University. He holds a PhD in nuclear physics and is a laser specialist. Abbasi-Davani is an expert in nuclear isotope separation.
 
 
Morteza Ahmadali Behzad
 
Morteza Ahmadali Behzad ("Behzad") is being designated for providing or attempting to provide financial, material, technological or other support for, or goods or services in support of AEOI. Behzad is the Managing Director and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Iran Enrichment Company (IEC).
 
As a scientist with a specialization in the manufacture and testing of centrifuges, Behzad has held various positions at AEOI's subordinate and front companies. Behzad is former manager of TESA.
 
 
Seyed Jaber Safdari
 
Seyed Jaber Safdari ("Safdari") is being designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the AEOI. At AEOI, Safdari is head of the Department of Advanced Technologies and the Deputy for Advanced Technologies at Novin Energy Company. Novin Energy Company was designated by the Treasury Department under E.O. 13382 on January 4, 2006 for being owned or controlled by, or acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, AEOI and is an entity that has transferred millions of dollars on behalf of AEOI entities associated with Iran's nuclear program.
 
Previously at AEOI, Safdari was the deputy of research at the Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute, head of the uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and managing director of the Kalaye Electric Company. The Kalaye Electric Company (KEC) was designated by OFAC under E.O. 13382 on February 16, 2007. KEC has been linked to Iran's centrifuge research and development efforts.
 
Aria Nikan Marine Industry
 
Aria Nikan Marine Industry ("Aria Nikan") has provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, TESA.
Aria Nikan has undertaken procurement for TESA. Aria Nikan has supplied TESA with magnetic tape which can be used in P1 centrifuges. This magnetic tape has been a choke point item for the Iranian nuclear program.
 
Aria Nikan was a specialist provider and consultancy in the engineering and purchasing of alloyed steels, super alloys and specialist metals. Aria Nikan sources goods for the Iranian nuclear program.
 
Iran Pooya
 
Iran Pooya is being designated for having provided, attempted to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of TESA. Iran Pooya is an Iranian government-owned company that operates the biggest extruder of aluminum in Iran and supplied material for use in the production of casings for the IR-1 and IR-2 centrifuges. Iran
 
Pouya Control (a.k.a. Tejerat Gostar Nikan Iranian Company)
 
Pouya Control is being designated for providing, or attempting to provide, goods or services in the support of activities or transactions materially contributing to, or posing a risk of materially contributing to, Iran’s uranium enrichment nuclear program.
 
Pouya Control is known to design and manufacture inverters. Since the Iranian uranium enrichment program requires large numbers of inverters to regulate power supply to centrifuges, in order to meet demand, Iran has produced its own indigenous version but is also interested in foreign inverters to fulfill its nuclear program needs.
 
The Individuals and Entities being Designated by the Department of State Pursuant to
E.O. 13382 are:
 
Amir Hossein Rahimyar
 
Amir Hossein Rahimyar is associated with the Nuclear Reactors Fuel Company (a.k.a. SUREH), and in late 2009 was involved in the procurement of equipment for Iran’s nuclear program. The State Department designated SUREH on November 21, 2011, pursuant to E.O. 13382 because it is responsible for the production of fuel for Iran’s nuclear reactors – including the 40-megawatt heavy water research reactor (IR-40) – and has sought commodities for the reactors fuel assemblies.
 
Mohammad Reza Rezvanianzadeh
 
Mohammad Reza Rezvanianzadeh as of 2010 was the managing director of SUREH and oversaw Iran’s uranium conversion and fuel fabrication activities at Esfahan. Rezvanianzadeh worked extensively with various companies supporting the facilities at Esfahan such as the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF), the Fuel Manufacturing Plant (FMP), and the Zirconium Production Plant (ZPP).
 
Faratech
 
Faratech has likely been involved in efforts to advance water purification at Iran’s IR-40 heavy water research reactor, in collaboration with Iran’s Modern Industries Technique Company (MITEC). MITEC has been linked to the Iranian heavy water program since at least 2001 and has played a key role in the production of the IR-40 project in Arak, Iran. MITEC was designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 on November 21, 2011, and in UNSCR 1929 on June 9, 2010.
 
Neda Industrial Group
 
Neda Industrial Group (Neda) is an Iranian entity with strong links to the Iranian nuclear program, including the manufacture and procurement of proscribed equipment and material for use at Iran’s Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility. Since at least 2011, Neda has attempted to procure from foreign entities sensitive centrifuge-related components that have direct application in Iran’s nuclear program.
 
Tarh O Palayesh
 
Tarh O Palayesh is a producer of design documents for various elements of Iran’s IR-40 heavy water research reactor. U.S.-designated Pentane Chemistry Industries was working on distillation columns for the IR-40 in Arak, utilizing data sheets and complete architectural and engineering information associated with Tarh O Palayesh.
 
Towlid Abzar Boreshi Iran
 
Towlid Abzar Boreshi Iran (TABA) is an Iranian entity with strong links to the Iranian nuclear program, including the manufacture and procurement of proscribed equipment and material for TESA and KEC. Since at least 2011, TABA has manufactured or procured for TESA and KEC a significant number of components associated with Iran’s uranium enrichment operations.