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Malaysia denies role in smuggling nuclear weapons to Iran

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 (AFP) - Malaysia denied Tuesday any role in the illegal export of nuclear weapons to Iran but confirmed the involvement of a national in the export of potential military and explosive components.

Deputy foreign minister A. Kohilan Pillay told AFP Malaysia was not a centre for nuclear weapons shipments to Iran.

"Our country is not a centre for nuclear components or weapons or other weapons trans-shipments to Iran or anywhere else. We do not condone such activities," he said.

Kohilan however confirmed Malaysian Brian Kaam and Iranian Majid Seif, who lives in Malaysia, along with two local companies, were among eight people and eight companies charged by the US Justice Department on September 11, 2008.

"It is true that Kaam and two Malaysian companies Eco Biochem Sdn Bhd and Vast Solution Sdn Bhd were indicted in the US for illegal arms exports," he said.

"The items were exported from the US to Dubai by these individuals and it was detected on the way from Dubai to Iran," he added.

"We do not know who the end user of these items was but Malaysia is definitely not involved in any way."

The Malaysian government's confirmation comes more than 14 months after Kaam and Majid were named in a 13-count Justice Department indictment that included charges of conspiracy, violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the United States Iran Embargo.

A September 17, 2008 statement by US authorities said the individuals were also involved in making false statements to federal agencies in connection with the export of thousands of US goods to Iran.

It said the eight individuals had purchased and then illegally exported "dual use" items to buyers in Iran.

The term "dual use" refers to goods and technologies that have commercial use but could also be used for military or nuclear applications.

It said the indictments were a result of an extensive inter-agency investigation into the use of US-made goods in the construction of improvised explosive devices (IED) and other explosive devices used against coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

MySinchew 2009.11.24

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