Japan arrests five for Iran exports

Five Japanese nationals were arrested on Thursday accused of illegally providing industrial equipment to Iran over three years ago.

    Japan and Russia don't see eye to
    eye on Iran's nuclear development

    Haruhiko Ueda, the 68-year-old president of Seishin Enterprise Co Ltd, and four employees of his Tokyo-based engineering equipment company have been arrested for “exporting strategic equipment without government authorisation”, a spokesman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department said.
     
    The company is accused of selling two jet mill grinders in 1999 and 2000 to Iranian companies for the equivalent of $84,000.
      
    The jet mill grinds solid substances into superfine powder and can be used to pulverise materials for solid fuel in missiles, but they can also have civilian uses in the pharmacological industries.

    The spokesman, however, could not confirm a press report that Seishin had also exported a jet mill to North Korea in 1994, an allegation published by the Japanese news agency Jiji.
      
    The charges come as the US seeks to increase pressure on both North Korea and Iran.
      
    Other allegations
       

    Bushehr, site of Iran's proposed
    nuclear power plant and source of
    irritation to US

    Iran dismissed a Wall Street Journal’s unnamed source who claim Tehran was hindering the visiting UN nuclear inspectors.
       
    A spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors' visit had not been hampered or cut short.
       
    "Based on the IAEA's letter which was sent to us, they visited all the places that were mentioned in the letter and they left the country based on the schedule which was mentioned in the letter," Khalil Mousavi told reporters.

    According to a Thursday report in The Wall Street Journal's European edition, the IAEA inspectors arrived in Iran on Monday but left abruptly on Wednesday after Iranian officials refused to let them visit the Kalaye Electric Company nuclear plant in Tehran.
     
    Iran has always insisted there is no place for nuclear arms in its security plans, but the United States has repeatedly pressured Moscow to end its assistance for building a nuclear power station at Bushehr in the south of the country.

    On Sunday, the Iranian government reiterated it would not abandon its peaceful atomic programme.


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