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2 Indian firms sanctioned for aiding Iran
August 05, 2006 11:46 IST
The United States has imposed sanctions against seven foreign companies, including two each from India, Russia, North Korea and one from Cuba.
The US accused them of passing on sensitive technology to Iran that could be used to develop weapons of mass destruction.
All the seven companies, including the two Indian companies, Balaji Amines Ltd and Prachi Poly Products Ltd -- both chemical manufacturers -- will be barred from doing business with the US government or acquiring American high-technology items under the sanctions announced on Friday in the US government's official journal, the Federal Register.
The penalties, to be in place for two years, are likely to have little or no effect on the North Korean and Cuban firms, which have no known dealings with the United States.
But they could have a substantial impact on the two Indian companies -- chemical exporters Balaji Amines and Prachi Poly Products -- and the Russian firms, aircraft maker Sukhoi and Rosoboron Export, the state agency for export of Russian military hardware.
The action comes under US legislation, Iran Non-Proliferation Act of 2000, which aims to prevent sale of equipment to Iran that can be used in missile systems or weapons of mass destruction.
The sanctions are the latest to be imposed under the Iran Non-Proliferation Act of 2000, which provides penalties for sales to Iran of ballistic missile technology and other items that could contribute to Iranian weapons of mass destruction program.
The companies were found to be in violation of the law aimed at preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction to Tehran.
This law also requires the Bush Administration to submit a report every six months to the US Congress naming the companies that have been sanctioned for their business dealings with Iran.
Tensions between the US and Iran are at a peak now with Tehran's nuclear effort and its refusal to heed to international opinion and its open support for Hezbollah, the militant group at war with Israel in southern Lebanon.
The US announcement provided no particulars on the sales or dealings that invited the sanctions, though the Bush Administration has complained publicly about a one billion dollar military deal signed in December under which Moscow is providing Iran with advanced ''Tor'' anti-aircraft missiles and helping modernise the Iranian air force.
The sanctions could affect a three-year-old agreement under which Sukhoi, best known for its military fighter jets, is working with the US aerospace giant Boeing to produce a new Russian regional passenger jet.