Europe

For Fourth Year in a Row, German Intelligence Reports that Iran Still Seeks WMD Tech

The intelligence agency of the German state of Baden-Württemberg found that Iran is still trying to obtain technology for weapons of mass destruction and to advance its ballistic missile program, Benjamin Weinthal reported Saturday in The Jerusalem Post.

The report, which was reviewed by the Post, stated that “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.”

More generally, the report confirmed that since the 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers, “Iran’s regime attempted to covertly secure advanced technology for its nuclear and ballistic-missile programs, according to German intelligence reports,” the Post reported.

The report also warned that given the “current worsening relations with the US, as well as Western governments’ critical views toward Iran’s atomic program, may lead to an increase of Iranian espionage activities.”

Earlier this year Weinthal reported that parts from a Germany company were found in rockets that were used by the Syrian regime to carry out chemical attacks against civilians.

The Post characterized Germany as Iran’s “most important” European trading partner, as well as the “European country most willing to resist US policy to wind down trade with Iran.”

In 2017, Germany exported 3.5 billion Euro ($4.1 billion) worth of goods to Iran; an increase from 2.6 billion Euro ($3.0 billion) in 2016. Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted earlier this week that Germany would stand by the nuclear deal as she met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The BfV, Germany’s federal intelligence agency, warned in 2015 that Iran was still trying to procure illicit technology for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, despite then-ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers. German intelligence also reported in 2016 that Iran sought to procure nuclear-related materials in at least half of Germany’s states and was involved in attempts to advance the Islamic Republic’s chemical and biological weapons capabilities. Last year, German intelligence reported that Iran made at least 32 attempts to acquire proliferation-related technologies, possibly in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

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