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Engineering and Construction
“The site assembly of the TBM and back-up for the hydraulic tunnel of Dasht E Zahab in Iran has starter this month. The DSU type TBM has been manufactured by Herrenchnecht on SELI Divisione Tecnologie specifications and basic design.” (Seli News List, “Iran: Dasht & Zahab - Backup for TBM HK,” 1/12/05)
“A spokesman for Seli told me last week that the construction equipment firm was working on several Iranian tunnel projects worth more than €220 million, including for the Tehran metro and water tunnels in Nosud and Kerman. The company's Web site says that one of the contracts it just recently finished involved the sale of equipment and technical assistance to the Iranian company Ghaem—a Revolutionary Guard firm, according to the U.S. Treasury.
The technical know-how and machinery to build tunnels is of course crucial for the regime's efforts to hide its nuclear installations.
When asked about his Iran business, the president of Seli, Remo Grandori, told me Wednesday ‘our machines and expertise are not used for military purposes, or we couldn't have received the authorization of Italian Foreign Ministry." When I pressed harder, he acknowledged that Seli "tunnels are like large mines. Iran can certainly use these tunnels to hide weapons, but I don't know anything about it.’” (The Wall Street Journal, “The Rome-Tehran Axis,” 1/14/10)
“Two European concerns—Wirth, from Germany, and Seli, from Italy—sold tunnel-boring equipment to Iran for its Ghomroud water project.
Seli, for its part, sold its tunnel-making goods to an Iranian company called Ghaem. This sale, too, was found to be exempt from any restrictions or embargoes. But the U.S. Treasury has designated Ghaem as yet another subsidiary of the IRGC. Seli, in the meantime, is also involved in other important projects in Iran, among them the much larger Kerman water-tunnel project. That deal, worth 134.6 million euros over five years, was signed in 2004—with the active involvement of Sahel Consulting Engineers.
Unquestionably, the equipment has been used to dig water tunnels at Ghomroud and Kerman. Once the digging is finished, though, the equipment be- longs to the subsidiary businesses of the IRGC, which can do with them what they wish.
Intelligence photographs have regularly indicated that much of Iran’s clandestine nuclear program is being built deep underground, in bunkers accessible by means of tunnels. The machinery and technology for constructing such tunnels can only have been provided by Wirth and Seli.” (Commentary Magazine, “The Iranian Shell Game,” July-August 2008)
“Seli – an Italian company in the same line of business – also provided machinery and technicians for the previous phase of the same tunnel project – which was done through a consortium of which Wirth was a partner. The deal, worth 8.5 million Euro, was completed in 2005. The client was Ghaem, another IRGC subsidiary. The deal was similarly not subject to any restrictions or embargoes.
Another, much bigger contract is the Kerman Water Tunnel Project, a five-year deal worth 134.6 million Euro signed in 2004 with the active involvement, again, of Sahel Consulting Engineers. Italian and German tunneling equipment was thus sold to the IRGC and made available, once the water tunnel was completed, for other projects the IRGC may wish to undertake. Intelligence reports have repeatedly suggested that much of Iran’s clandestine nuclear program is being built deep underground, in bunkers that are accessible through tunnels – tunnels which only technology such as the one provided by Wirth and Seli can build.” (Transatlantic Institute, “Iran's Deceptive Commercial Practices,” 15/4/08)