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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 08:20, August 05, 2005
Belgian firm blocked from building new factory in Iran
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Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Guy Vanhengel has blocked the contractors firm Lavalin Europe from building a phosphoric acid factory in Iran.

The decision was made due to concerns the factory will be used for the enrichment of uranium and possibly the production of nuclear weapons, local newspaper De Tijd reported on Thursday.

Lavalin Europe, which is part of the Canadian engineering and construction conglomerate Lavalin, lodged an application for a weapons export license in Brussels in last November.

The firm had previously signed a contract on Feb. 14, 2003, to construct a phosphoric acid factory in Iran to be used in the production of fertilizer.

An application for a weapons export license had to be lodged because the factory could have been adjusted to be used for the enrichment of uranium.

This 'dual use' is the reason why Minister Vanhengel decided to refuse issuing the license last month.

"The recent developments around the nuclear program in Iran strengthen my conviction that we have taken the right decision, despite the pressure and the lobbying by the company to obtain the permit," the minister was quoted as saying.

Source: Xinhua

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