How an Iranian business with close ties to the country's nuclear program obtained restricted equipment for enriching uranium is the focus of multiple investigations being conducted by western agencies.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday night that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and western intelligence agencies have been probing the Iranian firm's procurement of "critical valves and vacuum gauges" since Jan. 14.
The IAEA launched its investigation after receiving a tip that the equipment allegedly reached the Iranian business through a Chinese company's intermediary.
The newspaper couldn't reach the Iranian business, Javedan Mehr Toos, for comment. Iranian officials didn't immediately respond to the newspaper's request for comment.
However an investigator familiar with the IAEA's investigation told the newspaper that the rouge country has pursued the equipment for two years, making about 10 attempts to obtain the parts.
"Some deliveries got through, others didn't," the investigator told the newspaper.
Other officials told the newspaper it's not uncommon for companies' parts to end up in Iran without their manufacturers' knowing.