Fresh Clues of Iranian Nuclear Intrigue

U.S. security and law-enforcement officials say they have fresh evidence of recent efforts by Iran to evade sanctions and acquire metals from China used in high-tech weaponry, including long-range nuclear missiles.

Iran's efforts are detailed in a series of recent emails and letters between Iranian companies and foreign suppliers seen by The Wall Street Journal. Business records show one Iranian company, ABAN Commercial & Industrial Ltd., has contracted through an intermediary for more than 30,000 kilograms (about 66,000 pounds) of tungsten copper -- which can be used in missile guidance systems -- from Advanced Technology & Materials Co. Ltd. of Beijing. One March 2008 email between the firms mentions shipping 215 ingots, with more planned.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Folks, this is a repeat of the "Yellowcake" story which fell apart even before it was revealed that the documents were forgeries when it was pointed out that Iraq had plenty of natural uranium ore within its borders and did not need to import any.

Likewise, Iran has plenty of copper and tungsten within its own borders which means it would not need to go to China for any nefarious purposes.

As for tungsten copper, it is a very common industrial material used for fittings in high temperature applications such as factories, refineries, and nuclear power plants. The main purpose of copper tungsten is that by varying the ratio of the the elements, the coefficient of expansion can be altered to match that of other fittings to which the copper tungsten component is attached, reducing stresses caused by repeated thermal cycles, again the sort of conditions encountered inm factories, refineries, and nuclear power plants.

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