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04 April 2014

UK arrest following supply of US-origin pressure transducers to Iran

Several media outlets including the BBC are reporting that a Chinese man was arrested at Heathrow in February on charges issued by the US authorities related to the export of thousands of pressure transducers to Iran. It is understood that the pressure transducers originated from MKS instruments and were shipped on to supposedly legitimate customers in China before being diverted to Iran.

Iran flag

Alpha has been investigating the proliferation challenges of the vacuum market since the project was established in 2011, and Ian Stewart from Alpha co-authored a paper with the head of compliance at MKS last year.

While the charges in this case relate primarily to the period 2009-2011, the case nonetheless highlights the importance of technology holders exercising effective controls over their technology. Alpha commends the efforts of MKS to introduce its “controlled delivery” compliance system in recent years and encourages all manufacturers and exporters of sensitive goods to become “Partners Against Proliferation”.

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