US imposes curbs on five Iranian nuclear scientists in weapons program

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AFP)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US is imposing restrictions on five Iranian nuclear scientists “who were involved in Iran’s pre-2004 nuclear weapons program (the “Amad Plan”).”

“These five individuals continue to be employed by the regime to this day,” he said on Wednesday in a statement.

After work on the Amad Plan was stopped, Iran continued to preserve its Amad-era records and its cadre of nuclear weapons scientists, including these individuals. The Department of Commerce’s Entity List contains foreign persons who are subject to specific export licensing requirements.

The five nuclear scientists will be added to the US Department of Commerce’s Entity List containing foreign persons who are subject to specific export licensing requirements, he said.

The individuals added to the Commerce Entity List are: Aref Bali Lashak who served as a senior expert within the Amad plan; Sayyed Mohammed, Mehdi Hadavi who was a project supervisor during the Amad plan; Kamran Daneshjou who served as the head of the Amad plan project 111; Mehdi Teranchi who served as a project in Amad subproject 3/10; and Ali Mehdipoud Omrani who served as a senior experin in Amad subproject 3/11.

"Individuals working for Iran’s proliferation-sensitive programs should be aware of the reputational and financial risks to which they expose themselves. Iran’s scientists and technical experts have two paths: they can use their skills pursuing work on projects that do not pose a proliferation risk, or they can work for Iranian organizations pursuing proliferation-sensitive activities, with the financial and reputational risk such work entails," the US State Department's press release read.

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