September 25, 2007

Chairman Dodd Presses Commerce Department to Ensure Iran Does Not Obtain Sensitive U.S. Technology

Washington, D.C. – Responding to an announcement by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that it had recently enacted export control laws to prohibit unlicensed trafficking of “strategic goods” such as chemical and biological weaponry, military hardware, and dual-use items, Senator Chris Dodd, D-Conn., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, today wrote to Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez to request a report on the latest U.S. efforts to keep sensitive technology out of the hands of rogue and dangerous nations such as Iran.
    “In response to my inquiries at a hearing of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on U.S- Iran policy, then-Acting Under Secretary of Commerce Mark Foulon described the UAE’s unique role as a trading hub for goods and services bound for Iran. According to Secretary Foulon, Iran has established numerous trading companies in the UAE to procure U.S.-origin items, usually concealing the fact that the items are destined for Iran. Such activities should not and cannot be tolerated,” wrote Chairman Dodd in a letter to Gutierrez. “Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, and is pursuing the alleged development of nuclear weapons technology. It is critically important that we use every tool in our arsenal— including training in export control enforcement, as needed— to prevent Tehran from further accumulating dangerous equipment that could eventually be used to threaten the stability of the region.”
Dodd chaired a Banking Committee hearing in March to assess the effectiveness of current U.S. sanctions on Iran. The Banking Committee has jurisdiction over export controls on “dual-use” items, technology that can have both a civilian and military use. The letter today coincides with a scheduled speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations in New York.
Click here for the full text of the letter .