Group Asks Huntsman to Cease Operations in Iran
Tuesday, 24 Nov 2009 | 1:43 PM ET
A group dedicated to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons is calling on Huntsman, a Salt Lake City-based chemical firm, to pull its operations out of the Islamic Republic.
Huntsman Corporation is a manufacturer of polyurethane chemicals, which it has been selling to Iran for an undetermined amount of time, the group United Against a Nuclear Iran told CNBC.
Huntsman Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Russ Stolle said "it is our policy to comply with all U.S. laws."
"We plan to reveiw the issues that have been raised," Stolle said.
Huntsman polyurethane products are sold through a third party listed on the company's Web site as Huntsman Polyurethanes, based on Avenue Sepahbod Gharani in Tehran.
Polyurethanes are often used for non-military purposes, but are also a key component in solid rocket propellants for long-range missiles. Solid rocket fuel is used by Iran and other countries to allow its missile fleets to be on instant standby for launch.
Iran has missiles fueled by solid fuel and controls one of the largest missile stockpiles in the world. Polyurethanes are also used in other military equipment.
On Monday, United Against a Nuclear Iran asked Huntsman to cease its Iran operations. The group also asked the company to clarify how the polyurethanes it sells in Iran are used and whether the company can be certain the chemicals are not used for military purposes.
Huntsman told CNBC it will be in touch with UANI in the near future.
Iran is currently in violation of three United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding its nuclear program. Earlier this month, Iranian leaders rejected a proposal to have other countries turn Iran's low enriched uranium into nuclear fuel. That would have delayed Iran's nuclear bomb making capacity by at least one year.
Huntsman President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Huntsman is the brother of the United States Ambassador to China and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. Their father, Jon Huntsman, is the founder and executive chairman of the company.
The U.S. has been pressuring China to cut its growing financial ties with Iran. China is expanding its energy deals with the Middle Eastern country, investing billions of dollars in Iranian oil and natural gas fields.
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