Iran's 'Indian supplier' on US radar
A concerned Obama administration suspected an Indian supplier of doing business with an intermediary for the Iranian missile programme during 2007-09, reveal latest US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks. More on webdelhi Updated: Dec 19, 2010 03:00 IST
A concerned Obama administration suspected an Indian supplier of doing business with an intermediary for the Iranian missile programme during 2007-09, reveal latest US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
According to the documents, the Indian supplier (not named) and a suspect Iranian entity were engaged in business discussions as of mid-April 2009 for supply of nuclear-grade graphite to support Tehran's efforts to build nuclear missiles.
The US urged India to investigate the matter and take steps to prevent the supply of sensitive materials to Iran.
The State Department asked the US embassy in Delhi to raise concerns about proliferation. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked the embassy to follow up on the supplier and forward her request for action to Indian authorities.
The unnamed Indian firm had beeped on the US radar in the past too.
The cables revealed that in October 2007, the US had shared with India information pertaining to the supply of high-density MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime)-controlled graphite by the Indian firm to Iran's Ward Company.
India was advised that the intended end-user of the graphite was Sahand Aluminium Parts Industrial Company, a cover for Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group, Iran's primary developer of liquid-fueled ballistic missiles.
The cables also reveal that in response to a follow-on US demarche in November 2007 concerning additional consignments of graphite being readied by the supplier to Ward, Indian officials said the shipment of one such consignment had been prevented and the matter was being probed.
New Delhi was again approached in December 2007 with information indicating that 4-5 tons of graphite awaiting shipment to Ward had been removed from the supplier's warehouse. India responded by saying it had not cleared the shipment and nothing had reached the final destination.
Quoting reports that customs had prevented two consignments of N-grade graphite from being shipped to Ward and Dubai in 2007-08, the US requested additional information on the status of the material, but had not received any response.
First Published: Dec 18, 2010 23:47 IST