More German intel confirms Iran seeks tech for weapons of mass destruction

The Germans seem to have a weird system of sub-national security/intelligence organisations.

https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/iran-news/more-german-intel-confirms-iran-seeks-tech-for-weapons-of-mass-destruction-640243

plane crash at the Boryspil… REUTERS 19/01/2020 12:16 IRAN-NUCLEAR/IAEA FILE PHOTO: An Iranian flag flutters in front of the IAEA headquarters in Vienna REUTERS Link copied to clipboard. (internationalbox) FILE PHOTO: An Iranian flag flutters in front of the IAEA headquarters in Vienna 19/01/2020 12 (photo credit: REUTERS/ LEONHARD FOEGER)

The domestic intelligence agency for the German state of Saarland added new weight to intelligence reports from its sister states, which previously confirmed the Islamic Republic of Iran has sought technology for weapons of mass destruction and missile carrier systems.

The Jerusalem Post reviewed the 112-page intelligence report, which was released last week, titled “Overview of the situation,” addressing security threats faced last year by the small west-German state Saarland.

“Iran, Pakistan and to a lesser extent Syria, made efforts to procure goods and know-how for the further development of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems,” wrote the intelligence officials for the Saarland.

“Delivery system” is typically defined as the capability to launch missiles. Israel, the United States and many Gulf nations believe Iran’s regime seeks to develop nuclear weapons.

The Post contacted the Saarland domestic intelligence agency regarding the nature of the illicit proliferation material that Iran sought in 2019. Katrin Thomas, the spokeswoman for the domestic intelligence agency, wrote the Post by email on Friday that “the Protection of the Constitution in Saarland does not pass on any information on the activities of groups or individuals.”

The Protection of the Constitution is the formal name of the Saarland domestic security service.

The report said that “The intelligence services of these countries are present with varying staffing levels at the respective official and semi-official representations in Germany and maintain so-called legal residencies there. This refers to the operational bases of a foreign intelligence service, disguised in an official [e.g. embassy, consulate general] or semi-official [e.g. press agency, airline] representation in the host country as a starting point for intelligence activities.”

According to the Saarland intelligence document, “The intelligence staff there, supposedly working as diplomats or journalists, conduct open or covert information gathering themselves or provide support in intelligence operations that are carried out directly by the headquarters of the intelligence services in their home countries. In addition, intelligence services also carry out operations without their legal residences being involved. The focus of their respective procurement activities is based on current political requirements or economic priorities.”

The intelligence officials noted that China and Iran replicate Russia’s brutal tactics in targeting dissidents and opponents within the federal republic. “The Iranian and Chinese intelligence services are also active in this field.”

The report says that for Iran to achieve its goal, “selected people from the opposition movement are approached with the aim of a commitment to intelligence cooperation. In the event of rejection, the persons concerned or their relatives living in their home country are often threatened with reprisals.”

Iran’s regime has used German territory for surveillance and assassination operations targeting Iranian dissidents, pro-Israel advocates and Israeli and Jewish institutions.

Germany’s 16 federal states have their own local domestic intelligence service. Each state releases an annual report documenting threats to the democratic order of the state.

The Saarland noted the apparent illicit nuclear weapons activities of Pakistan in Germany and elsewhere abroad. “Pakistan also operates an extensive nuclear and carrier technology program and continues to endeavor to expand and modernize, in order to retain a serious deterrent potential against the ‘Arch enemy’ India.”

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