Man charged for breaking Iran nuke sanctions

A man from southern Sweden has been charged for attempting to smuggle equipment to Iran which can be used to enrich uranium, in violation of EU sanctions.

Using a company based in a flat in Lund, the man allegedly planned to ship advanced vacuum pumps to Iran, according to a report by Sveriges Television (SVT).

The scheme was revealed, however, when Swedish customs officials carried out a random check on a shipment which was officially destined for Dubai, but included boxes with labels indicating their final destination was Tehran.

While the pumps and valves included in the shipment can be used in the dairy or fuel industries, Daniel Nord from the Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls (Inspektionen för Strategiska Produkter, ISP), believed the equipment was meant for other purposes.

“These are no ordinary vacuum pumps,” he told SVT.

“They’re the kind that is necessary to enrich uranium.”

The pumps found in the shipment allegedly destined for Tehran are on an increasingly long list of products prohibited by the EU from being sold to Iran stemming from concerns about the country’s intention to develop nuclear weapons.

The man charged in the case, a Swedish citizen originally from Iran, denies committing any crime.

The case, which is expected to come to trial in January, represents the first time charges have been filed in Sweden alleging someone violated sanctions against Iran, prosecutor Agnetha Hilding-Qvarnström.

TT/The Local/dl

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