29 April 2005
BRUSSELS – An inquiry is under way into accusations that a Belgian company sold military material illegally to Iran.
On Friday, the daily newspaper Le Soir reported that Finance Minister Didier Reynders is investigating whether a nuclear and military arms embargo on the middle-eastern country was broken.
A tele-fax, dated 22 December, was leaked to Le Soir, in which Belgium’s customs managers stated isostatic nuclear presses were being sent to Iran.
Customs recommended the seizing of the equipment.
According to Le Soir’s investigation, one nuclear press was certainly sent to Tehran – without an export licence – in January.
It was made by Epsi, a firm based in Temse in East Flanders.
The company has denied supplying an atomic or military programme, stating it sold a nuclear press to the aeronautical industry, which meant a licence was not necessary.
However, Reynders wants to know whether what was sold to Tehran had a “double use”.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news