German intelligence said to warn Iran still seeking nuclear weapons
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German intelligence said to warn Iran still seeking nuclear weapons

Fox News cites report by Baden-Württemberg spy agency saying Iran, other states are seeking to ‘complete existing arsenals… and develop new weapon systems’

An Iranian flag flutters at Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant on November 10, 2019. (Atta Kenare/AFP)
An Iranian flag flutters at Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant on November 10, 2019. (Atta Kenare/AFP)

A German intelligence agency has reportedly warned that Iran remains committed to obtaining technology for the development of nuclear weapons.

The warning was contained in a report by Baden-Württemberg’s state intelligence agency, according to Fox News.

Besides Iran, a section of the report titled “Proliferation” said North Korea, Pakistan and Syria are also working to get their hands on technology for weapons of mass destruction.

“They aim to complete existing arsenals, perfect the range, applicability and effectiveness of their weapons and develop new weapon systems,” Fox quoted the report as saying. “They try to obtain the necessary products and relevant know-how, among other things, through illegal procurement efforts in Germany.”

Both North Korea and Pakistan have nuclear arsenals, while Syria possesses chemical weapons. Iran faces limits on its nuclear program under the 2015 deal it signed with world powers and has repeatedly denied seeking nuclear arms.

The report highlighted efforts last year to acquire technology for weapons of mass destruction from unnamed companies in Baden-Württemberg, one of the most economically advanced states in Germany.

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani (R) meets Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) on the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN Headquarters Sept. 24, 2019. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

“Procurement attempts relevant to proliferation were also observed in 2019, which also affected companies in Baden-Württemberg. Since then, it has become even more difficult for affected companies to assess whether the business is still lawful or whether it is already violating sanctions regulations,” the report said.

The intelligence agency also warned against Iranian efforts to obtain technology for its nuclear program using front companies in third countries, as well as through the infiltration of colleges and research centers.

The Fox report came as the head of the UN nuclear watchdog urged Iran to grant inspectors access to two sites where nuclear activity may have occurred in the past.

Even though the two sites in question are not thought to be directly relevant to Iran’s current activities, the International Atomic Energy Agency said it needed to know if activities going back almost two decades have been properly declared and all materials accounted for.

Under the 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran committed to curtailing its nuclear activities for sanctions relief and other benefits.

But the Islamic Republic has slowly abandoned its commitments after US President Donald Trump’s decision two years ago to renounce the deal and reimpose sanctions.

Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium is now almost eight times the limit fixed in the accord, according to an IAEA assessment published earlier this month.However, the level of enrichment is still far below what would be needed for a nuclear weapon.

The IAEA says it continues to have access to all the facilities needed to monitor Iran’s current nuclear activity.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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