In an article published in London’s Guardian, Debby Wu reports that a Taiwanese firm has admitted fulfilling an order from a Chinese company to ship nuclear components to Iran.
Steven Lin of Heli-Ocean Technology Co. Ltd. said that the company received an order from a Chinese firm in January or February 2008 to obtain an unspecified number of pressure transducers. These components convert pressure into analog electrical signals delivering precise measurements needed in the production of weapons-grade uranium. Transducers are also used in semiconductors, solar energy, and civilian nuclear work. According to David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, D.C., the equipment is probably for use in Iran’s gas centrifuge program. Due to international sanctions, Iran was unable to purchase this technology from Europe or Canada.
This transaction provides further evidence that new sanctions against Tehran will prove largely ineffective. Russia and China—two permanent members of the UN Security Council—will continue to enjoy a cozy commercial relationship with Tehran despite the West’s concerns. The abundant supply of natural gas and oil will keep China especially close if it wants to continue to modernize at an exponential rate. Will a new sanctions regimen work to contain the Islamic Republic? Hardly.