Glencore traded with Iranian nuclear firm
Nikhil Kumar is The Independent's New York correspondent. He was formerly assistant editor on the foreign desk and has also done a variety of jobs on the city desk, where he wrote about markets, commodities and other business and economics topics.
Friday 01 March 2013
Glencore, the London-listed Swiss commodities giant, supplied thousands of tonnes of alumina to an Iranian company with links to the country’s controversial nuclear programme.
Glencore supplied the raw material to the Iranian Aluminium Company (IAC), which was hit by European Union sanctions in December for allegedly supplying aluminium metal to Iran Centrifuge Technology Co. (ICTC), a subsidiary of the body responsible for Iran’s nuclear programme.
The deal was part of a barter arrangement – where goods are swapped for other goods – which is a common practice in the metals industry.
Alumina is used to make aluminium, which in turn can be used to make aluminium tubes for uranium enrichment gas centrifuges.
Glencore said the last actual trade made under the arrangement, which was disclosed by Reuters based on information from intelligence and diplomatic sources, took place in October, months before the sanctions. The Swiss giant immediately ended dealings with IAC when, in December, it learnt of the sanctions and its links with ICTC. Moreover, Glencore said the alumina it supplied “is a generic raw material sand”.
“Glencore complies with applicable laws and regulations, including applicable sanctions. We closely monitor all new legal developments to ensure that we continue to be in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including applicable sanctions,” the company, which is not accused of violating any sanctions, said.
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