WikiLeaks: Int'l carmakers linked to Iran nuke program

Mercedes, Toyota, Honda, Fiat, Renault and Peugeot might not know it, but Israeli intelligence services say they play a key role role.

February 4, 2011 03:28
1 minute read.
The Jerusalem Post

mercedes biz 88 298. (photo credit: Daimler Chrysler via Bloomberg)

Car manufacturers Mercedes, Toyota, Honda, Fiat, Renault and Peugeot might not know it, but according to Israeli intelligence services they play a key role in Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

An American diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks on Thursday summarized a meeting held in October 2007 between Patricia McNerney, the principal deputy assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, and a group of officials from the Mossad, IDF Military Intelligence and the Foreign Ministry.

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During the meeting, the Military Intelligence officer presented McNerney with photographs of vehicles made by Mercedes, Fiat, Toyota and Honda that were being used by Iranian regime elements associated with its missile program. The photographs were of vehicles with missile systems mounted on them or in tow.

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The Mossad official present singled out Renault and Peugeot, which were at the time manufacturing cars in Iran.

“Legally they are not doing anything wrong, but it might be worthwhile to show them how their business is helping proliferators,” the Mossad official said.

The Foreign Ministry official suggested asking companies such as Renault and Peugeot to “join in the effort” to stop investments that helped the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, as opposed to asking them to cease their operations in the country.

“This might be more palatable to them, and thus a more effective approach,” the official said.

The Military Intelligence officer claimed that 50 percent of the vehicles presented during the meeting with McNerney were bought and used by the Revolutionary Guard, which, he said, Israel could also link to dozens of construction companies that supply building materials to the Iranian programs.

The Revolutionary Guard, he gave as an example, was at the time the main contractor for Teheran’s metro system.

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