Exploiting a loophole in Western sanctions, Iran is importing a high grade of refined alumina ore from several European countries including Germany and France that Tehran could be using to make armor parts and missile components.
Western measures imposed on Iran over its disputed nuclear programme have hit many sectors of its economy including steel and metals, where it is heavily dependent on imports. Tehran says its atomic work is peaceful. The refined ore has been excluded from European Union sanctions, but tightened US sanctions that came into effect on July 1 seek to close the loophole.(Reuters)