Tehran believed to have made at least nine ‘clandestine’ attempts to acquire materiel that could be used for nuclear arms developmen.
Iran has been continually violating the terms of the nuclear agreement signed last summer with the world powers, including Germany, and has been making attempts to acquire materiel to further its nuclear ambitions, a new German intelligence report has revealed.
The annual report by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the German equivalent to the FBI, charges that Iran has been making “clandestine” efforts to seek equipment and technology, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology,” from German companies “at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level.”
The report stated that Iran made at least nine attempts to acquire technology that could be used for nuclear arms development, according to an i24 News report in Israel that cited Germany’s Tagesspiegel daily. The majority of the attempts were thwarted by the intelligence agency in cooperation with the German companies.
“It is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives,” the report read.
German chancellor Angela Merkel briefed parliament on the findings, saying that “Iran continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the UN Security Council.”
Israel’s Ambassador to Germany Yakov Hadas-Handelsman told Tagesspiegel: “Once again we are seeing the confirmation of our concerns, that are shared also by the German side: It’s not enough to simply trust Tehran.”
In March, Iran said it conducted a series of new ballistic missile tests to demonstrate “deterrent power” and the country’s “all-out readiness to confront threats” against its territorial integrity.
Israel has pointed to continued ballistic missile tests as proof Tehran plans to continue pursuing a nuclear weapon, despite a deal signed with world powers last year that curbs Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Washington imposed new sanctions over Iran’s missile program in January, almost immediately after lifting separate sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program under the nuclear deal. The move followed ballistic missile tests carried out in October of the new Emad guided ballistic missile.
Under the nuclear deal, the UN arms embargo on the country continues, as do ballistic missile restrictions.
Following ballistic missile tests in October and again in March, Britain, France, Germany and the US all demanded a UN investigation into the launches, and a UN committee later determined they violated a Security Council resolution that prohibits Tehran from launching ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Disagreement remains among diplomats at the UN as to the severity of the violation.
In a confidential report revealed by Reuters on Thursday, UN chief Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council that the missile launches “are not consistent with the constructive spirit” of the nuclear deal, but said it was up to the Council to decide if they violated the resolution.