Iran sought in 2018 weapons proliferation technology for its nuclear program

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal reached between the world powers and the clerical regime in Tehran.

June 30, 2019 01:02
4 minute read.
Iran sought in 2018 weapons proliferation technology for its nuclear program

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is seen near a "3 Khordad" system which is said to had been used to shoot down a U.S. military drone, according to news agency Fars, in this undated handout picture. (photo credit: FARS NEWS/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Germany’s federal intelligence said on Thursday in its new report on security threats that Iran’s regime worked to obtain equipment for its nuclear program that could be used for weapons of mass destruction.

According to the 388-page report reviewed by The Jerusalem Post, which covers a range of security threats to Germany’s democracy, the intelligence document said the agency “was only able to identify isolated indications of Iran’s proliferation-related procurement attempts for its nuclear program compared with the previous year.”

“Such indications emerge when the methodological approach to the procurement of goods, their possible use also in a nuclear program and/or existing findings on the final recipient or the requesting body point to a potential proliferation-relevant procurement background,” the report said.

The intelligence report covered 2018 activities and defined proliferation as “the spreading of atomic, biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction or the use for their manufacture and corresponding products, as well as weapons carrier systems such as rockets and drones, including this know-how.”

According to the report’s definition, as well as other German intelligence documents examined by the Post, the Iranian regime’s activities meet the criteria of seeking to purchase technology that can be used for weapons of mass destruction.
However, the intelligence report added, “to the extent that verification of these indications [of Iran’s proliferation-related procurement attempts] was possible, it did not provide evidence of a breach of the JCPOA.”

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal reached between the world powers and the clerical regime in Tehran. In exchange for economic sanctions relief, Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program in connection with the 2015 agreement.

When asked by the Post if the German government sent details of Iran’s proliferation activities to the UN, and the nature of the material Iran’s regime sought, an intelligence agency spokesperson said: ”Please understand that we cannot comment further on the statements in the current constitutional protection report.”

The Post also queried the intelligence spokesperson, who declined to comment, about how the agency verified that Iran’s regime is in compliance with the JCPOA in light of its proliferation activities in Germany.

The federal intelligence agency confirmed that Iran’s regime engaged in a “clear rise in indication” of attempting to secure material for its rocket program. German intelligence agents consider the activities to be “proliferation-relevant” because rockets can carry weapons of mass destruction, noted the report.

The agency is formally known as the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and serves as the equivalent of Israel’s Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency.)

The Post reported in June that the Islamic Republic of Iran is involved in the illicit procurement of technology for weapons of mass destruction, according to a May report by the German intelligence agency for the northern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
In the 206-page report which was reviewed by the Post, the intelligence agents wrote: “The fight against the illegal proliferation of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction and the materials needed for their manufacture, as well as the corresponding delivery systems [e.g. rockets], including the necessary knowledge, in cooperation with other authorities, is also the responsibility of counterintelligence.”

“From these points of view, it is essentially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [North Korea] and the Syrian Arab Republic that need to be mentioned,” the report continued. “The intelligence services of these countries, in many ways, are involved in unlawful procurement activities in the field of proliferation, using globally oriented, conspiratorial business and commercial structures.”

The Mecklenburg-Vorpommern security officials noted that Iran’s regime, the Russian Federation and China are the main engines of intelligence gathering and should be viewed within a “security-related” context.

Each German state (there are a total of 16) has its own intelligence agency and intelligence report.

The Mecklenburg-Vorpommern report covered the year 2018 and was published just days after a damning Bavarian state intelligence report on Iran’s illicit activities.

According to the Bavarian report, Iran’s regime is “making efforts to expand its conventional arsenal of weapons with weapons of mass destruction.” The Bavarian agents define weapons of mass destruction as “the spread of atomic, biological [and] chemical weapons of mass destruction.” Iran was termed a “risk country” in the 335-page Bavarian document, which outlined serious threats to the security and democracy of the state of Bavaria.

The Bavarian report noted that the country’s criminal customs police prevented an electronic beam-welding machine from being sold to Iran.

“The machine can be used for the production of [missile] launch vehicles,” the document said. According to the report, extensive attempts were made “to disguise the actual customer in Iran” with respect to the machine, by claiming that the end-user company was based in Malaysia. Efforts to illegally bypass German export control regulations resulted in a criminal conviction of the director of the Bavarian-based company which sought to sell the welding machine.

The Bavarian agency said it will continue “to monitor whether Iran consistently and consequently complies with the agreement signed in July 2015.”

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