U.S. adds companies to economic blacklist for providing WMD activity support in Syria

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Source: Reuters
U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington
FILE PHOTO: A fence surrounds the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington October 5, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Theiler

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday added more than a dozen companies and individuals to its trade blacklist for allegedly providing material support to chemical and biological weapons activity in Syria and diverting U.S. items to Iran without authorization.

The action from the department’s Bureau of Industry and Security bars the firms and individuals from buying components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval.

The bureau added 22 companies and individuals to the Entity List in Bahrain, France, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

It added Rahal Corporation for Technology and Medical Supplies, and the Jordanian Lebanese Company for Laboratory Instruments S.A.L. because they have been “involved in providing material support to chemical and biological weapons activity in Syria,” the department said.

It also added Al Ras Gate General Trading, Bestway Line FZCO and six other entities to the list, saying they “knowingly divert U.S. origin items to Iran without authorization and are therefore unreliable recipients of U.S.-origin goods and technology,” the bureau said.

The bureau added Fabcon International, Muhandis Corporation, Paktech Engineers, and Rohtas Enterprise for being involved in “supporting unsafeguarded nuclear activities.”

Reporting by David Shepardson and Alex Alper; Editing by Dan Grebler

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