Iran nuclear fears prompt building ban

4th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

4 August 2005, BRUSSELS — Brussels Foreign Affairs Minister Guy Vanhengel has blocked the contractors firm Lavalin Europe from building a phosphoric acid factory in Iran.

4 August 2005

BRUSSELS — Brussels Foreign Affairs Minister Guy Vanhengel has blocked the contractors firm Lavalin Europe from building a phosphoric acid factory in Iran.

The decision is due to concerns the factory will be used for the enrichment of uranium and possibly the production of nuclear weapons, newspaper 'De Tijd' reported on Thursday.

Lavalin Europe — which is part of the Canadian engineering and construction conglomerate Lavalin — lodged an application for a weapons export licence in Brussels on 23 November 2004.

The firm had previously signed a contract on 14 February 2003 to construct a phosphoric acid factory in Iran to be used in the production of fertiliser.

An application for a weapons export licence had to be lodged because the factory could have been adjusted to be used for the enrichment of uranium.

This 'dual use' is the reason why Minister Vanhengel decided in consultation with the Brussels government to refuse the licence on 14 July.

"The recent developments around the nuclear programme in Iran strengthen my conviction that we have taken the right decision, despite the pressure and the lobbying by the company to obtain the permit," he said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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