Middle East

New Iranian 'entities' under UN sanctions

The fourth round of UN sanctions against Iran has added a number of companies and an individual to the list of "entities" already under sanction.

Most of those on the list are manufacturing companies connected to the weapons industry, companies that the UN says are fronts for the military, and a number of shipping firms the UN says are controlled by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line, which is already under sanction.

The BBC Monitoring's Research Unit has compiled information on some of the new names listed in UN resolution 1929.

Javad Rahiqi, nuclear research scientist

Mr Rahiqi is the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran's Nuclear Technology Centre in Isfahan.

The 56-year-old faces an international travel ban and his assets will be frozen under the new resolution.

He is director of the National Iranian Accelerator Project. He was listed by the European Union in April 2007 as an "entity" linked to Iran's development of nuclear weapon delivery systems.

Mr Rahiqi is chairman of the training advisory committee of the International Centre for Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science Applications in the Middle East (Sesame), which has been partly supported by the IAEA.

He reportedly worked with nuclear scientist Masud Ali-Mohammadi, who was killed in a bomb blast in Tehran in January.

He has a degree from Tehran University and a masters and doctorate in nuclear physics from the University of Edinburgh.

Malek Ashtar University, Tehran

On its website, the university lists one of its priorities as "Providing scientific support for industrial organisations through conducting research projects in line with the clients' requirements."

According to the UN, one of the Malek Ashtar University's major clients is the Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran, which - it is believed - runs the country's alleged nuclear weapons programme.

The university's website also says it is dedicated to running special research-oriented master and PhD programs.

One of the researchers at the university was Shahram Amiri, the scientist who disappeared last year, the Iranians say.

Some reports say he was abducted by the US to put pressure on Iran's nuclear programme.

Unnamed US officials quoted in a report by ABC news in March said he defected to the US along with information about its nuclear weapons programme.

According to announcements in the local Iranian media, the university's faculties have also worked to provide research and expertise in developing weapons, including submarines.

According to Iranian exile opposition groups, the university has also been a key player in developing stocks of biological weapons.

The university has been included in the new sanctions because it has refused to allow inspectors from the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to interview staff or see documents in its mission to clarify if indeed Iran is trying to make a nuclear weapon.

First East Export Bank

According to the annex of the UN resolution, this Malaysian-based bank has handled millions of dollars in transactions for Iranian "nuclear, missile, and defence entities".

The UN document says that the bank is wholly-owned and controlled by Bank Mellat, which has been under sanction from the US government since 2005.

According to Iranwatch.org Bank Mellat was formed in 1980 with the merger of 10 smaller private banks, which then came under the control of the government.

They say the bank provided financial support and operations to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the Novin Energy Company.

There have been suggestions emanating from the delegates involved in negotiations that China has lobbied very hard to limit the number of financial institutions placed under sanction.

Russia too has said in the past that it did not favour placing sanctions on Iranian Banks.

Analysts have suggested that, as this is the only bank to be placed under sanction that it is not connected to business deals involving those countries.

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