Businessman ‘exported WMD chemicals to Iran’

A businessman exported chemicals to Iran which could have been used to create weapons of mass destruction, the Old Bailey heard today.

Jarrad Beddow, 43 the former sales manager of Remet UK, is alleged to have played a ‘leading role’ in the shipment of cobalt aluminate to the Islamic Republic via Slovakia.

It is claimed he ignored warnings that there was “an unacceptable risk of diversion to WMD programmes.”

Jurors heard the company, based in Rochester, Kent, had been approached by an Iranian engineering firm Mavadkarin in 2008.

Mavadkarin, based in Tehran, claimed that the cobalt aluminate would be used for casting gas turbine blades.

Remet applied for a licence to export the chemicals in the summer of 2008 but was told it had been rejected in September.

Prosecuting David Hewitt told the court: “The reason for the refusal was unacceptable risk of diversion to WMD programmes of concern.”

Beddow appealed for a review of the decision and enclosed an undertaking by Mavadkarin that the goods were being used in the gas turbine blades manufacturing process.

His appeal was turned down and it was again stated that this was because of an unacceptable risk of diversion to WMD programmes.

It is claimed that Beddow emailed his contacts in Iran to say that he still might be able to supply the chemicals.

Mr Hewitt said: “The defendant said that his understanding was that if Remet was to supply Iran, via Slovakia, there would be no need for a licence.

“In short he was saying, if this goes out to Slovakia, and Slovakia had no export controls or restrictions going to Iran, that was ok.

“The Crown say that is fanciful and it defies common sense.”

The goods were shipped from a warehouse in Lancashire to the eastern European country before being sent to the Middle East, jurors were told.

Mr Hewitt said the authorities were alerted after Remet’s managing director discovered the export had gone through.

The prosecutor added: “All this case concerns is the exportation of a quantity of chemicals which the UK authorities believe there was a risk could be diverted to a weapons of mass destruction programme.

“This case is about somebody who the Crown says was well aware it was unlawful to ship these chemicals and he deliberately set out to do that.

“The Crown says that this defendant took a leading role in this.”

Beddow, of St Osyth, Essex, denies being knowingly concerned in the prohibited export or shipment of cobalt aluminate with intent to evade the prohibition or restriction on December 16, 2009.

The trial continues.

Source: The Telegraph

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