German Security Officials Reveal Iran Still Working to Become Nuclear Power


With Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei having threatened to “shred” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers, German security officials are saying that Iran is continuing to pursue its goal of building nuclear-armed missiles.

Citing German security officials, the Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reported that Iran has not given up its “efforts this year to obtain material from German firms for its nuclear program and the construction of missiles.”

“Iran has clearly not given up its long-term goal to become an nuclear power that can mount nuclear weapons on rockets,” the officials told the paper, according to The Jerusalem Post. 

The German paper reported that in 2016, the year the JCPOA was implemented, Iran made 32 acquisition attempts for materials and parts that it uses to advance its ballistic missiles program.

“The majority of Iran’s procurement activities in the (German) state (of North Rhine-Westphalia) were for its ballistic missile program,” according to The Post.

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The same report said the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, which in majority opposes the nuclear agreement with the six world powers, “want(s) to continue the nuclear program at all costs.”

The Tagesspiegel report more or less confirmed an earlier article by Weinthal.

On July 7, writing for The Weekly Standard, Weinthal revealed Iran was working to “illegally obtain technology and know-how to advance its nuclear weapons and missile programs, despite the 2015 agreement to curb its nuclear program.”

His article was based on German intelligence, with one report by the state of Hamburg claiming, “there is no evidence of a complete about-face in Iran’s atomic polices in 2016.”

The Hamburg intelligence report said that even after the JCPOA was implemented, Iran still “sought missile carrier technology necessary for its rocket program.”

The same report mentioned the illicit delivery of “51 special valves to an Iranian company that can be used for the Islamic Republic’s sanctioned Arak heavy water reactor,” an installation that can be used to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons.

Another German intelligence report by the state of Baden-Wurttemberg’s intelligence agency said Iran was actively seeking “products and scientific know-how for the field of developing weapons of mass destruction as well (as) missile technology.”

The report also claimed Iran used a Chinese front company to purchase equipment needed for the development of ballistic missiles.

The Islamic Republic coordinated the acquisition attempts with Pakistan, a nuclear-armed Muslim country, and North Korea, raising concerns Iran is continuing to work on the development of nuclear weapons in other countries as well.

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“The amount of evidence found for attempts to acquire proliferation-sensitive material for missile technology/the missile program, which is not covered by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, remained about the same,” Germany’s federal intelligence agency said at the time.

Weinthal’s revelations didn’t cause the German government to change its position on President Donald Trump’s attempts to break open the nuclear agreement in order to negotiate a better deal.

On October 9, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said his government was ready to increase pressure on Iran, but stressed Germany didn’t want the JCPOA to be damaged.

Iran, meanwhile, defied Trump again on Thursday.

Despite Trump’s decision to further sanction Iran over its breaches of the nuclear agreement, the Islamist regime in Tehran has vowed to continue with the development of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps issued a statement vowing “Iran’s ballistic missile program will expand and it will continue with more speed in reaction to Trump’s hostile approach towards this revolutionary organization,” as reported by Newsweek. 

“Imposing cruel sanctions against the Guards and hostile approach of the rogue and brute (U.S.) president shows the failure of America and the Zionist regime’s wicked policies in the region,” the IRGC statement said in a reference to Trump and Israel.

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Yochanan Visser is a freelance reporter and analyst. He is director of Missing Peace Information, an independent news agency in Israel. He writes for several Dutch and Israeli outlets and blogs at the Times of Israel. He is the writer of a book about the cognitive war against Israel in the Dutch language. In December 2014, he became the Middle East correspondent of Western Journal.