German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said in its annual report Thursday that Iran continues to seek illicit missile technology, which Western governments have long feared can be used for the delivery of nuclear weapons.
The revelation may place Iran in violation of a provision of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which requires Iran to submit to a procurement task force all purchase requests for “nuclear direct-use goods.” But Iran fought successfully to exclude all mention of its missile program from the landmark nuclear deal, and argues that, despite separate international sanctions on that program, it has legitimate and non-nuclear related military purposes.
According to the intelligence report, the Islamic Republic of Iran continued “illegal proliferation- sensitive procurement activities in Germany registered by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution persisted in 2015 at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level. This holds true in particular with regard to items which can be used in the field of nuclear technology.”
The German domestic intelligence report also stated “a further increase in the already considerable procurement efforts in connection with Iran’s ambitious missile technology program which could among other things potentially serve to deliver nuclear weapons.
Against this backdrop it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”
The German intelligence report’s finding coincide with German Chancellor Angel Merkel’s statement today in the Bundestag that Iran violated the United Nations Security Council’s anti-missile development regulations.
Merkel said Thursday “Iran continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the UN Security Council.” She also said NATO’s anti-missile system targets Iran’s rocket program and was “developed purely for defense.”
NATO has put in place a defensive missile shield in Romania. A second shield is set to be deployed in Poland. The NATO anti-rocket systems have created frictions with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader sees the missile system as an encroachment on Russia’s sphere of interests.