Sunday, August 07, 2005

Grand Old Halliburton

Jason Leopold (blogger & journalist & soon-to-be author) broke a huge story this past Friday.

Here are the first three paragraphs taken from "Halliburton Sold Iranian Oil Company Key Nuclear Reactor Components, Sources Say":

"Scandal-plagued Halliburton -- the oil services company once headed by Vice President Cheney -- sold an Iranian oil development company key components for a nuclear reactor, say Halliburton sources with intimate knowledge into both companies’ business dealings."

"Halliburton was secretly working at the time with one of Iran’s top nuclear program officials on natural gas related projects and sold the components in April to the official's oil development company, the sources said."

"Just last week, a National Security Council report said Iran was a decade away from acquiring a nuclear bomb. That time frame could arguably have been significantly longer if Halliburton, whose miltary unit just reported a 284 percent increase in its second quarter profits due to its Iraq reconstruction contracts, was not actively providing the Iranian government with the means to build a nuclear weapon."

Visit Jason's blog to read the rest.

On February 5th, Jefferson Morley wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post entitled "Halliburton Doing Business With the 'Axis of Evil'" which revealed that "[t]he story began on Jan. 9 when the Iran News ran a Reuters story reporting that Halliburton "has won a tender to drill a huge Iranian gas field."

Inquiring minds want to know if Hallburton broke a 1999 law that's a part of the Iranian Transactions Regulations (pdf file): Section 560.204, otherwise known as "Prohibited exportation, re-exportation, sale or supply of goods, technology, or services to Iran."

Except as otherwise authorized pursuant to this part, including § 560.511, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to May 7, 1995, the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of any goods, technology, or services to Iran or the Government of Iran is prohibited, including the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply of any goods, tech-nology, or services to a person in a third country undertaken with knowledge or reason to know that:

(a) Such goods, technology, or services are intended specifically for supply, transshipment, or reexportation directly or indirectly, to Iran or the Government of Iran; or

(b) Such goods, technology, or services are intended specifically for use in the production of, for commingling with, or for incorporation into goods, technology, or services to be directly or indirectly supplied, transshipped, or reexported exclusively or predominantly to Iran or the Government of Iran.

Back in February, a Haliburton spokesperson spoke to Lisa Sanders of CBS Marketwatch and denied that any laws were broken:

"Halliburton's business is clearly permissible under applicable U.S. laws and regulations," Hall said. "Also, we are in the service business, not the foreign-policy business. We have followed and will continue to follow applicable laws."

She added that Halliburton has no ownership in Oriental Kish and had played no role in its creation.


"These entities and activities are staffed and managed by non-U.S. personnel," Hall said.

But that was when it was just about oil.

Now it might be about nukes.

Haliburton - or at least its subsidiary - may be in violation of the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 which can be used to sanction foreign companies who profit from the sale of (H.R.1883)

"goods, services, or technology, prohibited for export to Iran because of their potential to make a material contribution to the development of nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, or of ballistic or cruise missile systems."

Seven Chinese companies were banned from trading with or receiving assistance from the United States government in January, as the BBC reported, just for being "suspected" of helping to proliferate Iran.

But, then again, Vice President Dick Cheney never headed up the China Aero-Technology Import Export Corporation, at least as far as we know (maybe that information has been classified).


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