The New York District Attorney’s office today unleashed a 118-count indictment against a Chinese national and his company for illegally using US banks to shuffle money for Iranian nuke sales. Li Fang Wei, who is apparently out of the country, and his company, LIMMT, used shell companies and fake businesses to hide money for the nuclear materials that were destined for Iranian hands. Among the items sold to Iran:
– 33,000 pounds of a specialized aluminum alloy used almost exclusively in long-range missile production.
– 66,000 pounds of tungsten copper plate, which is used in missile guidance systems.
– 53,900 pounds of maraging steel rods, a superhard metal used in uranium enrichment and to make the casings for nuclear bombs.
The recipient was a subsidiary of the Iranian Defense Ministry, and the deals went through several American banks, who were apparently unaware of the whole operation.
I wonder if anyone can still claim with a straight face that Iran is still seeking nuclear technology for peaceful civilian needs only. HotAir reminds us that the National Intelligence Estimate of December 2007 claimed Iran had given up its nuclear ambitions, a claim which should now be considered absolutely erroneous. A nation committed to peaceful energy only wouldn’t resort to such under-handed subterfuge to acquire materials with more application for warfare than for civilian purposes. But then, most sane people always recognized that Iran had never given up its desire for nuclear technology for strict military purposes.
It’s almost a sure bet that LIMMT had the tacit approval of the Chinese government to proceed with the nuclear sales. In addition, Russia has also been assisting Iran in its dream of achieving nuclear power status, making a loose dangerous alliance of China, Russia, and Iran, and to a lesser extent, North Korea, whom China also back. With ties to Washington growing more distant by the day, including the recent move to give Gaza American money that has a good chance of benefiting Hamas, Israel is undoubtedly feeling isolated with its back up against a wall. As ineffectual UN protest resolutions prove more and more worthless, America and Israel will find themselves more and more threatened by the specter of a nuclear-armed Iranian regime committed to the destruction of Israel and opposed to the whole of the West, no matter what party sits in power here back at home.