A German intelligence agency said that Iran has repeatedly attempted to obtain technology to develop weapons of mass destruction while working on its missile program.
The Office for the Protection of the Constitution in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia (BfV), a regional intelligence agency, said in its annual report for 2017: “In North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as nationwide, there has been increased activities of the so-called Quds” the intelligence agency, which is a special unit of the Iran Revolutionary Guard and has “its own intelligence department, security services, and counterintelligence.”
Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Pakistan, it added, are “making efforts to expand their conventional weapons arsenal through the production of weapons of mass destruction,” according to a translation of the report provided by the Jerusalem Post.
“Iran continues to focus on missile programs in the field of proliferation” and has a demand for those relevant goods, the report said, according to a translation.
The report added that those countries have not been successful in manufacturing the components necessary for developing weapons in their countries.
“North Rhine-Westphalia as a strong business location with a large number of relevant companies and research institutions” that in 2017, continued to be a focus for Iranian intelligence, according to the report.
Iran, according to the agency, is using “classic espionage” methods to target political, military, and economic targets in the state. Meanwhile, the Quds force is trying to spy on “Israeli and pro-Israel institutions, Israeli nationals living in Germany, and people of the Jewish faith,” it added.
It comes two months after President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal framework. The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was made under former President Obama in 2015, and it allegedly stopped Iran from procuring nuclear weapons in exchange for the United States lifting sanctions.
In an update, U.S. Department of State spokesman Brian Hook said that new sanctions will be unveiled on Aug. 4, and they will “include targeting Iran’s automotive sector, trade in gold, and other key metals.” More sanctions will be rolled out Nov. 6, he added, and they will target “Iran’s energy sector and petroleum-related transactions and transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.”
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley in 2017 explained that there is a need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons because of its “determination to threaten Iran’s neighbors and advance its revolution.”
“In parallel with its support for terrorism and proxy wars, Iran’s military has long pursued nuclear weapons, all while attempting to hide its intentions,” she added, saying that the military has conducted a “covert nuclear weapons program,” noting the 2002 discovery of a uranium enrichment plant and heavy water reactor that violated international agreements. In 2009, she noted, foreign intelligence revealed the existence of a uranium enrichment plant deep inside a mountain.
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