US sanctions 13 firms for supplying arms to rogue nations

October 25th, 2008 - 8:16 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Oct 25 (DPA) The US has imposed sanctions on 13 companies accused of aiding the weapons programmes of North Korea, Iran or Syria, the State Department said Friday.The companies include firms based in Russia, South Korea, China, Sudan, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates, as well as in the three targeted countries.

The United States had “credible information” that the companies made sales that could “make a material contribution to weapons of mass destruction or cruise or ballistic missile systems,” State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid said in a statement.

The companies include: Russia’s Rosoboronexport; South Korea’s Yolin/Yullin Tech; Chinese firms Xinshidai Company, China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Corporation and Huazhong CNC; Venezuelan Military Industries Company; and United Arab Emirates firm R and M International FZCO.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticized the sanctions as a violation of international law, saying they would harm ties and were not likely to improve cooperation on ending Iran’s nuclear programme, according to media reports.

Under the sanctions, which remain in place until September 2010, no US government department or agency can have dealings with the affected companies. More than 50 companies have now been targeted for sanctions by the US for arms dealings with either Iran, Syria or North Korea.

The sanctions took effect on Aug 12.

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