US blasts Ukraine specialty steel exports to Iran leaked cables

Dec 07, 2010 | 10:47 AM |

U.S. diplomats have warned Ukraine about repeated exports of specialty steel to Iran for use in Iran's ballistic missile program, according to a classified diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks.

Iran is incapable of producing specialty steels such AISI 4340 and AISI 4130 "indigenously," and that inability has proven a "key choke point" for the country's missile program, according to the cable, posted on the Web site of the Guardian newspaper.

Both steels are used to make motor cases for Iran's solid-fuel ballistic missiles, and the U.S. remains "deeply concerned" about the alleged exports because of the "high quality" of steel available from Ukrainian manufacturers, the cable said.

The United States said that Ukrainian entities, whose names were redacted from the document, were supplying Iran with specialty metals and other "sensitive" items, such as ball bearings, used in liquid propellant missile systems, the cable said.....

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