Germany arrests man suspected of busting Iran sanctions

BERLIN Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:18am EST

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BERLIN Feb 19 (Reuters) - German prosecutors said on Wednesday they had arrested a German-Iranian man suspected of exporting to the Islamic Republic goods that could be used in a weapons programme.

The products include vacuum pumps, valves and other industrial products that can be used for civil or military purposes, Federal Prosecutors said in a statement.

The 62-year old man, arrested in the Bonn area of western Germany on Tuesday, is suspected of acquiring almost 230,000 euros worth of goods made in Germany or in other states for Iran between 2011 and 2013.

Western nations have imposed economic sanctions and an arms embargo on Iran although there is some talk of easing these given a slight thaw in relations.

Six world powers, including Germany, are in talks with Iran about Tehran's contested nuclear programme. Iran rejects Western allegations that it is seeking a nuclear weapons capability and says it is enriching uranium only for electricity generation and medical purposes.

The goods were sent to an organisation in Iran that is responsible for a military residual propellant weapons programme and which has since 2007 been subject to an embargo, said prosecutors.

"It is therefore forbidden to make economic resources - and goods of any kind - available to this company," said the prosecutors.

The man is suspected of conducting his business via a company in an Arabian country neighbouring Iran to avoid export controls. (Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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