John on April 9, 2009 at 9:37 am
A NY prosecutor has charged a Chinese businessman named Li Fang Wei with illegal sales of restricted materials to an Iranian defense contractor. According to the indictment, Li used US banks and dummy corporations to funnel money from Iran to China. In turn, Li’s company LIMMT Economic and Trade Co. delivered 27 tons of “high-strength maraging steel rods”, 30 tons of tungsten copper plates and 15 tons of a special aluminum alloy. All of these materials are used in advanced rocket designs. According to the Telegraph:
LIMMT and Iran were in talks to have the company send 400 gyroscopes and 600 accelerometers â€“ again, crucial technology for developing long range missiles.
But the key quote comes from this Daily News story:
“This case will cut off a major source of supply to Iran and it shows how they are going ahead full steam to get a nuclear bomb. Long-range missiles they pretty much have already,” a law enforcement source close to the case said.
Why do they “already have” missile technology? Because this same company has been funneling materials to Iran for years. In 2004 LIMMT was sanctioned for, you guessed it, transfer of missile technology to Iran. They were cited again in 2006, for the exact same behavior.
The NY Times story today quotes prosecutor behind the indictment saying “Limmt is a private company with no ties to the Chinese government.” And yet, back in 2005, the Chinese government demanded sanctions on LIMMT’s be removed. Coincidence?
This is a farce. No significant military transaction takes place in China without government approval. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Li has an accident in the next week to prevent him from talking to investigators. It’s the Chinese way.
But all that is just a prelude to my favorite part of this story. The Times story amusingly notes:
No one answered the phone on Tuesday at the Chinese Embassy in Washington or the Chinese Consulate in New York, and the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna declined to comment.
That last line is the key to the second part of this story…You may recall that in 2007, a National Intelligence Estimate was issued which claimed Iran had abandoned it’s nuclear program. Mohammed ElBaradei at the IAEA was quick to jump on it and succeeded in getting President Bush to back off further sanctions on Iran. For his grandstanding, ElBaradei was awarded the Nobel Peace prize.
But the transfer of technology now under indictment took place from 2006-2008. So much for abandoning the bomb! It’s no wonder Mr. ElBaradei has no comment. What could he say at this point other than offer an admission of complete failure.
It’s also worth linking to this Mere Rhetoric post again. Check the links to various liberal sites crowing about that NIE circa 2007. This is how rogue nation’s get bombs. They do it by concealing their activities and relying on useful idiots in Western media who are naive enough or dumb enough to believe they only want nuclear power for peace.
Finally, we can’t forget Senator Obama’s insightful words on Iran from last September:
It is absolutely clear that this administration and President Bush continues to not let facts get in the way of his ideology. And that’s been the problem with their foreign policy generally.
I guess the facts look a little different now, don’t they Mr. President?
[HT: Ed at Hot Air for the Daily News story]
Category: Foreign Affairs |