Announcing the move, Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell said that the government was issuing an open licence for export of the goods to Iran and which will be listed in the Foreign Office`s annual arms report as "components for military aero engines."
"The goods will be used by the oil and gas industry to overhaul turbines that power pumps for oil and gas pipelines," he said in a written statement to parliament on Thursday.
Rammell said that the government is "satisfied that there is a minimal risk of diversion to a military end use, and are prepared to make an exception to the UK national arms embargo."
In the application, other aspects of the application were considered against the "consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria," he said.
Apart from Zimbabwe, Iran is singled out as the only country subject to a unilateral British embargo that includes not only military but also dual-use equipment. All other sanctions imposed by the UK come under UN, EU or OSCE regimes.
The embargo dates back to ministerial guidelines issued during Iraq`s 1980-`88 war against Iran, but over the last few years, several exceptions have been made to supply equipment to help Iran combat armed drug traffickers from Afghanistan.
A further exception was made last year when Britain issued a license for the export to Iran of a "synchros" instrumentation system to power Fokker 100 aircraft.
In 2001, industrial gas turbine parts were also supplied to Iran for civilian use even though some components came under the scope of the UK embargo.
... Payvand News - 4/30/04 ... --