Strategic Weapons: Japanese Machinery Builds Iranian Missiles


December4, 2006: Japan was embarrassed to discover that a Japanese machinery manufacturer had illegally shipped a jet-mill grinder to Iran in 1999, and that the equipment (which uses highly compressed air to shape solid materials) was being used in the manufacture of solid fuel rockets for Iran's ballistic missiles. The machinery was cheap ($129,000) and does have non-weapons uses. But the manufacturer did not ask permission of the government to export the gear, and is thus been punished by not being allowed to export anything for two years. Japan, Germany and the United States are all producers of precision manufacturing equipment that is needed to produce modern weapons. All three countries have to be careful who they export to, as there are often no other sources for some of this precision equipment.


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