Iran was keen on magnetic digital compasses, while Syria was interested in a high-speed camera, North Korea in precision machinery and Pakistan in parts for its missiles, French-language Le Temps said. - Photo by AP

ZURICH: Iran, Pakistan and North Korea wanted to buy materials for possible military use from Swiss companies, a newspaper reported on Saturday, citing US diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks that criticised Swiss officials for being less than transparent.

Iran was keen on magnetic digital compasses, while Syria was interested in a high-speed camera, North Korea in precision machinery and Pakistan in parts for its missiles, French-language Le Temps said.

The cables from 2006 to 2010 contain assessments by US diplomats in the Swiss capital of Berne on how Swiss authorities, including the State Secretariat for Economics (SECO), were responding to interest in so-called dual-use technologies, which can be used in nuclear pogrammes but also have other applications.

“The Swiss officials are never completely open or frank and have the tendency of giving legalistic responses that are technically correct but sometimes incomplete,” the paper quoted the cables as saying.

Antje Baertschi, a spokeswoman for the SECO, declined to comment on the cables and said official secrecy rules meant she was unable to comment on any Swiss companies.