Iran accused Germany's Siemens on Saturday of implanting tiny explosives inside equipment the Islamic Republic purchased for its disputed nuclear program, a charge the technology giant denied.
Prominent lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi said Iranian security experts discovered the explosives and removed them before detonation, adding that authorities believe the booby-trapped equipment was sold to derail uranium enrichment efforts.
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"The equipment was supposed to explode after being put to work, in order to dismantle all our systems," he said. "But the wisdom of our experts thwarted the enemy conspiracy."
Siemens denied the charge and said its nuclear division has had no business with Iran since the 1979 revolution that led to its current clerical state.
"Siemens rejects the allegations and stresses that we have no business ties to the Iranian nuclear program," spokesman for the Munich-based company Alexander Machowetz said.
Boroujerdi, who heads the parliamentary security committee, alleged that the explosives were implanted at a Siemens factory and demanded the company take responsibility.
Any sale of nuclear equipment to Iran is banned under UN sanctions, raising the possibility that if it indeed has some, it may have been acquired through third parties.
Boroujerdi did not say when or how Iran obtained Siemens equipment. Despite a wide array of international sanctions, Germany remains one of Iran's most important trading partners.
The US and its allies suspect Iran's nuclear work is aimed at producing weapons. Iran says it only wants to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, and asserts it has been the target of a concerted campaign by Israel, the US and their allies to undermine its nuclear efforts through covert operations.
Some Iranian officials have also suggested in the past that specific European companies may have sold faulty equipment to Iran with the knowledge of American intelligence agencies and their own governments, since the sales would have harmed, rather than helped, the country's nuclear program.
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