June 17, 2020 | The Jerusalem Post

Iran still works to obtain weapons of mass destruction tech – German intel

Iran, along with Pakistan, North Korea and Syria, aims to complete and improve existing arsenals and develop new weapons through illegal procurement efforts in Germany.
June 17, 2020 | The Jerusalem Post

Iran still works to obtain weapons of mass destruction tech – German intel

Iran, along with Pakistan, North Korea and Syria, aims to complete and improve existing arsenals and develop new weapons through illegal procurement efforts in Germany.

A German intelligence report released on Monday says Iran’s clerical regime has continued its illicit proliferation activities in the federal republic during 2019.

The 181-page Baden-Württemberg state intelligence agency document reviewed by The Jerusalem Post declares in a section titled “Proliferation” that the states “Iran, Pakistan, North Korea and Syria are still pursuing such efforts. They aim to complete existing arsenals, perfect the range, applicability and effectiveness of their weapons and develop new weapon systems. They try to obtain the necessary products and relevant knowhow, among other things, through illegal procurement efforts in Germany.”

According to the report, the term “proliferation” refers “to the further spread of atomic, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction – or the products and know-how required to manufacture them – and corresponding delivery systems.”

The intelligence report wrote that the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg is a target for Iran’s regime because of the hi-tech companies in the state.

According to the intelligence document, “Procurement attempts relevant to proliferation were also observed in 2019, which also affected companies in Baden-Württemberg. Since then, it has become even more difficult for affected companies to assess whether the business is still lawful or whether it is already violating sanctions regulations.”

The report urged companies  to “obtain precise information about the current [legal] situation before making a scheduled delivery to Iran.”

Iran’s regime agreed to limit the development of its nuclear program in a 2015 deal with world powers. Tehran received economic sanctions relief as part of the unsigned 2015 atomic accord.

However, the intelligence report noted that Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani declared at the end of 2019 “that his country would no longer implement some agreements.”

The Trump administration withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 because, the US said, the agreement failed to stop Iran’s drive to build a nuclear weapons device,  its use of missiles launches, and curb Tehran’s sponsorship of international terrorism.

Both the Trump and Obama administrations have designated Iran’s regime the worst state-sponsor of terrorism.

The intelligence agency of Baden-Württemberg said its “aim is to prevent risk states from building and developing weapons of mass destruction and the corresponding delivery systems.”

The German intelligence document cites Iran’s strategy to bypass export restrictions and embargoes. “To disguise the actual end user, they can procure goods in Germany and Europe with the help of specially established front companies, and in particular bring dual-use goods to the risk countries. Typical bypass countries include the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and China.”

Dual-use goods can be used for military purposes.

Benjamin Weinthal is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow Benjamin on Twitter @BenWeinthal

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Issues:

Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran Nuclear Military and Political Power North Korea Pakistan Syria