The U.S. State Department announced Thursday that it has imposed more sanctions on Iran’s nuclear proliferation networks.
Specifically, the Secretaries of State and Treasury have imposed sanctions on seven Iranian private sector companies and five individuals for proliferating weapons of mass destruction. These entities and individuals were designated because they provide the Iranian government goods, technology and services that increase Iran’s ability to enrich uranium and/or construct a heavy water moderated research reactor, both of which are activities prohibited by UN Security Council Resolutions.
These designations generally prohibit transactions between the named entities and any U.S. person and freeze any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction. Given Iran’s continued intransigence on its nuclear program, most recently demonstrated at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting, it is essential to act to restrain continued Iranian violations, said the State Department.
The designations of these entities and individuals, 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,” the State Department said.
According to the State Department, 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 State Department said.
The individuals and entities being designated by the Department of the Treasury are:
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.
Abbasi-Davani was identified in Annex I to UNSCR 1747, adopted on March 24, 2007, which included individuals and entities involved in Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile activities. Abbasi-Davani was described in the Annex to UNSCR 1747 as a Senior Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) scientist with links to the Institute of Applied Physics. MODAFL was designated by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) under E.O. 13382 on October 25, 2007.
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.
Additionally, Behzad was identified in Annex I to UNCR 1803, adopted on March 3, 2008, identifying individuals and entities involved in Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile activities. Behzad is listed in Annex I in UNCR1803 for his involvement in making centrifuge components. On April 23, 2007, the European Union designated Behzad pursuant to the European Union Common Position 2007/140/CFSP concerning actions on Iran. Behzad was noted for his role in making complex and sensitive centrifuge components.
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.
Safdari was identified in Annex II to UNSCR 1803 and Annex I to UNSCR 1747, adopted on March 3, 2008, and March 24, 2007, respectively, identifying individuals and entities involved in Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile activities. The resolutions identified Safdari as the Manager of the Natanz Enrichment Facilities. The Natanz Enrichment Facilities are overseen by AEOI.
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.
Aria Nikan’s customers include Khatam-al-Anbiya, an Islamic Republic Guards Corps (“IRGC”) affiliated construction company, and Malek Ashtar University (MUT), a Ministry of Defense affiliated academic and research institution. MUT was designated by OFAC under E.O. 13382 on July 12, 2012 because it is owned and controlled by, or purporting to act for or on behalf of, MODAFL. Khatam-al-Anbiya was designated by the Treasury Department pursuant to E.O. 13382 on October 25, 2007 for its affiliation to the IRGC.
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 Pooya was identified in the Annex to European Union Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1245/2011 of December 1, 2011, because it is a major manufacturer of aluminum cylinders for centrifuges whose customers include AEOI and TESA.
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.
Tejerat Gostar Nikan Iranian Company has previously been provided as a consignee name for Pouya Control.
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 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.