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U.S. Levies Sanctions for Transfers to Iraq

The United States levied sanctions February 13 against an Indian company and a Jordanian national for knowingly contributing to Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons program. This is the second time this year an Indian company has been sanctioned for contributing to Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons program. (See ACT, March 2003.)

Protech Consultants Private, Ltd. of India and Mohammed Al-Khatib of Jordan were sanctioned under the 1992 Iran-Iraq Arms Nonproliferation Act. This is the first time either one has been sanctioned by the United States.

Under the sanctions, the U.S. government is prohibited from conducting any business with the sanctioned entities or from issuing an export license to the entities—essentially barring any U.S. companies from doing business with them. The two-year sanctions took effect immediately upon issue.

During a press briefing March 11, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher refused to say what items had been transferred or when the transfers took place. He said only that these sanctions should not be linked “to something happening this week or last week.”

The sanctions do not apply to the Indian or Jordanian governments.