Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi arrives for a new round of talks with the IAEA at the UN headquaters in Vienna, Austria on May 12, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / DIETER NAGL)
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A confidential new report by a U.N. panel highlights Iran's methods of evading sanctions – from concealing titanium tubes inside steel pipes to using its petrochemical industry as a cover to obtain items for a heavy-water nuclear reactor.The latest report by the U.N. Panel of Experts, which monitors compliance with the Security Council's sanctions regime on Iran, said Tehran's attempts to illicitly procure materials for its disputed nuclear and missile programs may have slowed down as it pursues talks on a long-term deal with world powers.But the experts' report, which reached the Security Council's Iran sanctions committee days ahead of a new round of Vienna talks between Iran and six world powers, said an alternative explanation could be that Tehran had merely learned how to outsmart security and intelligence services in acquiring sensitive components and materials.The annual report includes a document related to the valves that shows how Iran used its legitimate petrochemical industry activities as a cover for procurement for the Arak project in violation of U.N. sanctions.The media report, which several Western diplomats said was supported by intelligence, said the Special Economic Directives Division of Iran's Supreme National Security Council had issued a directive in 2013 ordering that Iranian banks and state firms facilitate the creation of new front companies linked to KAA to assist the Revolutionary Guard in evading U.N. and other sanctions.
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