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While much is known about Russian and Chinese assistance to theShahab-3 program, The Iran Brief has long tracked sales by Europeancompanies that have helped Iran with its missile developmentprograms.
Among the most prominent:
Mercedes Benz, which established a joint venture in 1992with Iran Kaveh to build heavy duty trucks and diesel engines inIran. The 19 to 26-ton trucks are ideally suited for use asTractor-Erector-Launcher vehicles; some have reportedly already beenadapted to launch Iran's shorter-range Oghab and Nazeat-10rockets;
DA Dampf. This private German firm purchased largequantities of ammonium perchlorate, a solid-fuel ingredient, throughGirundus, an intermediary based in Switzerland and major U.S.producers, for transshipment to Iran in the late 1980s.
Air Liquide. This French firm has built several airseparation plants at major petrochemicals complexes (Arak,Mobarakeh), to produce oxygen and nitrogen. While this is a standardprocedure at such plants, Iran will need a large indigenous supply ofnitrogen as fuel for its various liquid-fuel missile projects..
Société Nationale des Poudres et Explosifs(SNPE). This French state-owned firm supplied process technology andproduction equipment for a solid- propellant fuel plant in themid-1980s in Parchin. It also shipped hundreds of tons of HMX andplastic explosives for use in naval mines;
Degussa. The Swiss subsidiary of the German chemicals giantcontracted with a Spanish firm, Senner, to build a carbon black plantin Saveh in the late 1980s. Carbon black has many civilian uses, butis also needed to make missile nozzles and other components subjectedto intense heat.
Wild Heerbrugg. This Swiss military optics specialist wascaught in 1987 shipping GPS units to Iran's Revolutionary Guards.U.S. intelligence sources expect Iran to incorporate GPS receivers inthe Shahab missiles.
Ashtech Inc. This American company was indicted in 1995 forhaving shipped 8 GPS units to Iran through the UAE.