The United Nations is investigating whether Turkey shipped Israeli-made electronic equipment to Iran in violation of UN Security Council sanctions on Tehran.
The UN also contacted Israel seeking it open its own inquiry into the matter, after it was discovered the equipment sold by Turkey to Iran was manufactured by a Jerusalem-based Israeli company, considered a major manufacturer of electronic capacitors.
In July 2017, a shipment of electronic capacitors produced by Celem Power Capacitors of Jerusalem was seized in the United Arab Emirates. Sources at the company said the equipment was sold to a Turkish company. “We don’t sell to enemy countries. If the shipment did in fact reach Iran, the Turkish purchaser defrauded us,” the Israeli company said.
In a written missive sent to Israel, the UN’s Secretariat noted that the electronic items were made by an Israeli company called Celem Power Capacitors, headquartered in Jerusalem. The Secretariat then asked Israel to look into the matter as well.
The contraband shipment contained CSP 180/300 model capacitors manufactured by the Israeli company. “We’ll be grateful if your government can provide pertinent information on the matter forthwith,” the Secretariat’s letter said.
The Security Council resolution in question is resolution number 2231 from 2015, which forbids the sale of products and technologies related to nuclear development.
This infraction was not the first time Turkey was charged with assisting Iran in circumventing nuclear sanctions. Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, 34, was arrested by the US in March 2016.
The FBI’s investigation turned up that Zarrab had assisted the Iranians in circumventing the embargo by creating shell companies to make fictitious purchases for Iran, and then used the fictitious invoices to withdraw funds from the Halkbank account—then transferring them to Iran itself.