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United Arab Emirates authorities are tightening the noose on companies the UN says are fronts for Iran’s nuclear weapons industry, the Gulf News quoted official sources as saying this week.

“Operations of any company in the UAE proved to have connections with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), or other entities or individuals subject to the UN asset freeze will immediately be shut down,” one of the sources said.

According to the source, the UAE has shut down more than 40 international and local companies as part of a crackdown on “illegally dealing in strategic dual-use equipment and materials and money laundering.”

“The companies were proved to have been involved in proliferation of dual-use and dangerous materials banned under UN resolutions and the nuclear non-proliferation NPT treaty,” said the source, “The UAE is committed to meet its obligations towards the global effort for non-proliferation.”

The report, citing court and other documents obtained by Gulf News, said that on June 10, a day after the UN Security Council imposed the fourth and strongest round of sanctions yet against Tehran, an Iranian businessman asked to have his name removed from a Dubai-based company connected with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Last year, Gulf News reported, Dubai authorities blocked the sale to Iran by the Dubai-based company Scientechnic of equipment manufactured by the German electronics company Siemens, which has since given an undertaking not to supply any of the company’s equipment to Iran.

On Tuesday (6-22) the U.S. Congress signaled its disapproval of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a vote to tighten sanctions against his government and a call to designate his army a terrorist group.

The swift rebuke was a rare display of bipartisan cooperation in a Congress bitterly divided on the Iraq war. It reflected lawmakers’ long-standing nervousness about Tehran’s intentions in the region, particularly toward Israel—a sentiment fueled by the pro-Israeli lobby whose influence reaches across party lines in Congress.

“Iran faces a choice between a very big carrot and a very sharp stick,” said Rep. Tom Lantos , chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “It is my hope that they will take the carrot. But today, we are putting the stick in place.”

The House passed, by a 397-16 vote, a proposal by Lantos (D-CA) aimed at blocking foreign investment in Iran, in particular its lucrative energy sector. The bill would specifically bar the president from waiving U.S. sanctions.

Current law imposes sanctions against any foreign company that invests $20 million or more in Iran’s energy industry, although the U.S. has waived or ignored sanction laws in exchange for European support on nonproliferation issues.


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