For the purposes of national and international security several treaties limit the export of a number of products. High technology equipment, nuclear technology, and certain fire arms are restricted. A number of companies have violated these restriction, sometimes with the approval of their governments and thus jeopardizing the agreements and many lives.
A number of Japanese companies have sold high technology equipment to China and the former Soviet Union. German companies have exported nuclear and chemical warfare technology to the Middle East. A Norwegian company has sold computer equipment to the former Soviet Union. French companies have exported sophisticated machine tools to the former Soviet Union. With help from western European governments, such as Switzerland's, Iran has obtained material to add to its nuclear arsenal. All of these are violations of international treaties.