Missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran.
(photo credit: NAZANIN TABATABAEE YAZDI/ TIMA VIA REUTERS)
The German intelligence agency of the state of Hesse published a new document on countering the spread of weapons of mass destruction, singling out the Islamic Republic of Iran as one of two states seeking to obtain the ultimate form of powerful weapons.
The Jerusalem Post reviewed the late June document that states: “Weapons of mass destruction are a continued instrument of power politics that also, in regional and international crises situations, can shatter the entire stability of state structures. States like Iran and North Korea attempt, in the context of proliferation, to acquire and spread such weapons by, for example, disguising the transportation ways through third countries.”
The report said that the goal of the intelligence agencies of Iran and North Korea is “to circumvent control mechanisms in countries that are not especially subject to embargo restrictions.”
According to the Hesse report, proliferation is defined as “the production and spreading of weapons of mass destruction” and “the acquisition of compatible missile carrying systems and technology by states for which these weapons were not previously available.”
The intelligence agency explained that the “goal of counter-intelligence is to prevent” countries like Iran and North Korea, who seek weapons of mass destruction.
The report listed some types of illegal proliferation technology that countries want for the production of weapons of mass destruction. The examples include “equipment for the enrichment of uranium, nuclear reactors in connection with reprocessing plants, bioreactors, drying installation facilities, and the production process for precursor chemical products.”
As a general rule, the intelligence agency noted, countries do not obtain completed weapons of mass destruction, rather secure “individual components, equipment, technologies and their products.”
German regional domestic intelligence agencies like the Hesse organization are the rough equivalent of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).
The state of Hesse has not yet published its intelligence report covering the year of 2017. Germany’s 16 states each publish intelligence reports covering threats to the constitutional, democratic system. The federal government publishes a nation-wide report that covers more broad terms, such as threats like radical Islam, weapons proliferation and right-wing and left-wing extremism.
The 2017 national report ignored the North Rhine-Westphalia intelligence report that said Iran sought to obtain illicit technology that could be used for military nuclear and ballistic missile programs. In North Rhine-Westphalia, Iran’s regime made “32 procurement attempts...
that definitely or with high likelihood were undertaken for the benefit of proliferation programs,” the state’s intelligence agency wrote last year.
German state reports frequently list more concrete data on Iran’s illicit nuclear, missile and espionage activities in the federal republic than the national intelligence report.
Take the examples of the southern German states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria: The Post reported in early June that the intelligence agency of Baden-Württemberg wrote in its report: “Iran continued to undertake, as did Pakistan and Syria, efforts to obtain goods and know-how to be used for the development of weapons of mass destruction and to optimize corresponding missile-delivery systems.”
Bavaria’s intelligence agency noted in its April report: “Iran, North Korea, Syria and Pakistan are making efforts to expand their conventional weapons arsenal through the production of weapons of mass destruction.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas are both energetic supporters of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that aims to curb Tehran’s drive to become an atomic weapons power.
Neither Merkel nor Maas has commented on the state intelligence agency reports that documented Iran’s illegal proliferation activities in 2017 in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria.
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