Canada says man tried to send Iran uranium devices

Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:47pm EDT
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By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police, acting on a tip from the United States, charged an Iranian-born man on Friday with trying to illegally export nuclear technology to Iran.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Toronto resident Mahmoud Yadegari had obtained several U.S.-made pressure transducers, which are used to make enriched uranium but can also have military applications.

"The declared point of destination was Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. However, we have evidence to support the fact that its ultimate destination was Iran," RCMP Inspector Greg Johnson told a televised news conference in Milton, Ontario.

He said Yadegari -- who also holds Canadian citizenship -- had been charged under a United Nations act limiting exports to Iran, which is under heavy international pressure to halt its nuclear program.

Foreign analysts believe Tehran has yet to prove that it has mastered industrial-scale enrichment of uranium, the key to making fuel in large, usable quantities.

Iran has slowly expanded its Natanz uranium enrichment plant in defiance of United Nations resolutions demanding it stop over concerns that Tehran's goal is the production of atomic bombs.

Iran denies it wants to make nuclear weapons and says the nuclear program is aimed at power generation.

The RCMP said Yadegari obtained the transducers from a firm located just outside Boston and attempted to conceal the fact he planned to ship them to Iran without a permit. The devices are controlled items and there are restrictions on where they can be exported.   Continued...