U.S. Treasury cites imports of high-grade ore for Iran missiles
WASHINGTON — The United States has determined that Iran was importing high-grade metal from the West for missile and armored production.
The Treasury Department said the Teheran regime was importing refined alumina ore from European Union countries, including France and Germany. Treasury said the ore could be used for missile and armored systems.
"Any European companies found selling alumina, for example, will face the full weight of U.S. law," Mark Dubowitz, an adviser to President Barack Obama, said.
"Alumina previously has sailed past the radar under previous U.S. and EU sanctions and should not be overlooked again as an important target of pressure."
On July 1, Treasury said it imposed sanctions that would target the metal trade with Iran. Officials said the latest measures includes "raw or semi-finished metals, including aluminum."
Officials said Iran was believed to have imported thousands of tons of alumina, a refined version of the raw ore bauxite, from such European countries as Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Slovenia. They said Teheran has used chemical alumina to produce ceramic composites for missiles and armor components.
Some of the alumina was believed to have reached Iran through front companies in the United Arab Emirates. Officials said the metal arrives from the UAE port of Dubai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.