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Ashland Says Joint Venture Sold Products to Iran

Ashland Inc., the biggest producer of specialty papermaking chemicals, said a 50-50 joint venture with Switzerland’s Clariant AG sold products to Iran without the approval of the U.S. government.

Units of the ASK Chemicals GmbH venture sold “granulate, coatings and hot top products” from Oct. 1 through March 1 to entities that may be owned or controlled by the Iranian government, Covington, Kentucky-based Ashland said today in its 10-Q filing. The products generated 715,000 euros ($934,000) of sales and 75,000 euros of profit, Ashland said.

The products are used in metal casting, said Gary Rhodes, an Ashland spokesman.

ASK’s supervisory board unanimously voted in March to end transactions with Iran and ASK is terminating all business in the country, Ashland said in the filing.

No one at Clariant in Switzerland answered phone calls outside of normal business hours.

The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 requires publicly traded companies to disclose transactions with Iran’s government that aren’t authorized by the U.S.

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