Thursday, April 9, 2009

Iran Continues Effort to "Shape the World"

We will be respectful, even when we do not agree. We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world for the better. . . .
--Barack Obama

As revealed on Tuesday, a Chinese businessman was indicted on 118 counts of "falsifying business records to gain access to U.S. banks" to finance weapons parts and materials deals between his company, LIMMT, and the Iranian military [see indictment here]. According to The Wall Street Journal:

The good news is that Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau's indictment this week of the Chinese firm LIMMT and its principal Li Fang Wei exposed some of Iran's illicit transactions. The bad news is that Tehran wasn't seeking U.S. currency simply as a safe haven in a turbulent market. The mullahs wanted dollars to buy critical ingredients in the production of long-range missiles and atomic warheads. And Mr. Morgenthau says they got them.

The veteran prosecutor tells us that the illegal arms trade at the heart of his 118-count indictment has provided Iran with the capability to field a new generation of missiles by the end of this year, accurate at a range of 1,300 miles. He reports that his investigation also shows that Iran has acquired technology for atomic weapons that could be ready soon after that.

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