A British company has been closed down after being caught in an apparent attempt to sell black-market weapons-grade uranium to Iran and Sudan, The Observer can reveal.Nice to see the Guardian finally turned and aiding in cranking up the psy-opy heat on Iran - and maybe even a little on Putin for his most cheeky proposal de Azerbaijani.
Anti-terrorist officers and MI6 are now investigating a wider British-based plot allegedly to supply Iran with material for use in a nuclear weapons programme. One person has already been charged with attempting to proliferate 'weapons of mass destruction'.
During the 20-month investigation, which also involved MI5 and Customs and Excise, a group of Britons was tracked as they obtained weapons-grade uranium from the black market in Russia. Investigators believe it was intended for export to Sudan and on to Iran.
A number of Britons, who are understood to have links with Islamic terrorists abroad, remain under surveillance. Investigators believe they have uncovered the first proof that al-Qaeda supporters have been actively engaged in developing an atomic capability. The British company, whose identity is known to The Observer but cannot be disclosed for legal reasons, has been wound up.
British agents believe Russian black-market uranium was destined for Sudan, described as a 'trans-shipment' point. The alleged plot, however, was disrupted in early 2006, before the nuclear material reached its final destination.
Details of the plot arrive against a backdrop of increasing co-operation between Sudan and Iran on defence issues, although the level of involvement, if any, of the governments in Khartoum and Tehran in the alleged nuclear plot is unclear.
However, circumstantial evidence suggesting that elements within both countries might be colluding on military matters has been mounting in recent months. A Sudanese delegation visited Iran's uranium conversion facility in February, while the East African country reportedly recently signed a mutual defence co-operation pact with Iran, allowing Tehran to deploy ballistic missiles in Sudan.