Archive for the ‘Iran – illegal importation of dual-use nuclear material’ category

Germany: Iran Plotting Terror on Jewish and Israeli Targets

April 25, 2017

Germany: Iran Plotting Terror on Jewish and Israeli Targets, Investigative Project on Terrorism, April 24, 2017

Last month, Bahrain security authorities arrested members of an Iranian-sponsored terrorist cell, accusing them of planning to assassinate senior government officials. The IRGC reportedly provided military training to several cell members.

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Iran is responsible for a significant amount of espionage activity in Germany over the past decade, and is responsible for planning terrorist attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets, the Jerusalem Post reports.

In a letter sent to a Left Party deputy from German’s interior ministry, the federal government launched 22 criminal investigations concerning Iran’s illegal espionage activity – more than China and Turkey who were suspected in 15 spy cases each. Only Russia, with 27 cases, is involved in more suspected espionage activity than Iran.

In one case, German prosecutors allege that Haidar Syed-Naqfi was ordered to identify Jewish and Israeli institutions in Germany and other Western European countries as potential targets for terrorist attacks. For example, he was accused of monitoring the headquarters of a Jewish newspaper in Berlin. Syed-Naqfi also identified several Israel supporters, including the former chief of the German-Israel Friendship Society and a French-Israeli business professor. German authorities believe his preparations were “a clear indication of an assassination attempt.”

Between July 2015 and July 2016, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) al-Quds Force paid Syed-Naqi more than $2,200.

Half of Germany’s state governments reported Iranian attempts to acquire material related to nuclear activities in 2015, the Post reports. An examination of intelligence sources in 2016 also produced new revelations surrounding Iran’s chemical and biological weapons programs.

Iran pursued German businesses in the Rhineland-Palatinate state seeking dual-use goods that could be “used for atomic, biological and chemical weapons in a war,” according to that state’s intelligence report.

An estimated 250 active Iranian-backed Hizballah operatives, out of about 950 Hizballah members throughout Germany, according to a 2014 Berlin intelligence report summarized by the Post.

Last month, Bahrain security authorities arrested members of an Iranian-sponsored terrorist cell, accusing them of planning to assassinate senior government officials. The IRGC reportedly provided military training to several cell members.

Iran has been accused of plotting terrorist attacks in recent years – mainly through proxies like Hizballah and IRGC’s Quds Force – in countries such as Egypt, Cyprus, Georgia, Thailand, India and others. In July 2012, a bus bomb widely attributed to Hizballah killed five Israeli tourists and a bus driver in Bulgaria.

In October 2011, the United Stated disrupted an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington D.C. and bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in the U.S. capital.

Obama Admin Brushes Off Intel Iran Is Buying Nuke, Missile Materials

July 11, 2016

Obama Admin Brushes Off Intel Iran Is Buying Nuke, Missile Materials. Washington Free Beacon, July 11, 2016 

(Please see also, German intel report charges Iran seeking illegal nuke, missile tech. — DM)

iran_missileA missile is displayed during a military parade in Tehran / AP

The administration’s response stands in sharp contrast to comments made by many lawmakers who view the German intelligence as proof that Iran is in violation of international accords.

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The Obama administration is brushing aside new German intelligence reports indicating that Iran has accelerated its efforts to procure key nuclear materials, despite promises to end this behavior as part of last summer’s nuclear accord, according to comments by a U.S. official provided to the Free Beacon.

Germany’s internal intelligence agency concluded in a recent report that sources have witnessed “extensive Iranian attempts” to procure illicit materials, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology,” according to the report. The report appears to show that Iran is not upholding its most critical commitments under the nuclear deal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear this week that the intelligence shows “Iran continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the UN Security Council,” particularly one Security Council resolution that bars Iran from pursuing ballistic missile technology.

The intelligence report and subsequent warnings were met with a tepid response from the Obama administration, which declined to comment on the intelligence and told the Free Beacon that it continues to view Iran as complying with the nuclear accord.

The administration’s response stands in sharp contrast to that of leading GOP lawmakers, who told the Free Beacon that the White House is intentionally ignoring Iran’s bad behavior.

“We believe that Iran is continuing to meet its [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] commitments,” a State Department official authorized only to speak on background told the Free Beacon.

When pressed to explain how this comported with Germany’s warnings, the official said the administration “would refer you to German authorities for any comment about reports attributed to them.”

The administration official would not take a stance on indications that Iran’s procurement activity—which has increased nearly twofold since the nuclear deal—could violate U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which bans such activity.

“As for UNSCR 2231, we have spoken previously about ‎how Iran’s reported missile launches are clearly inconsistent with the resolution,” the source said when asked if the new intelligence shows that Iran’s behavior constitutes a violation of the resolution.

A CIA official declined to comment on Germany’s findings and whether they comport with U.S. intelligence assessments.

The administration’s response stands in sharp contrast to comments made by many lawmakers who view the German intelligence as proof that Iran is in violation of international accords.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.), the House majority leader, told the Free Beacon that the administration is ignoring mounting evidence of Iran’s illicit actions.

“The Obama Administration can’t ignore the sheer weight of evidence showing Iran isn’t upholding its side of the bargain,” McCarthy said. “From illicit procurement for its nuclear program to testing ballistic missiles, Iran is showing that it had no intention of ever following international agreements, even ones that granted them enormous concessions.”

“The administration’s decision to continue implementing the deal and ignore Iran’s actions isn’t just delusional, it’s dangerous,” he added. “Iran must be stopped, which is why we need the sanctions legislation we are voting on this week.”

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), a member of the House intelligence committee, also said Iran’s behavior indicates that it is not faithfully abiding by the nuclear deal.

“The latest German intelligence report on Iran’s efforts to secure nuclear and missile technology and material is extremely troubling,” Pompeo said. “While the Obama administration deletes public videos and alters transcripts related to the nuclear deal, at least our allies are speaking out on the threat from Iran’s nuclear program.”

The German intelligence report’s “naming of more than 1,000 associates of Iranian-backed terrorist groups that are living in Germany should serve as a wake-up call to the U.S. and other European countries who are prefer to ignore Tehran’s active support for entities like Hezbollah and Hamas,” Pompeo said.

One source intimately familiar with the administration’s thinking on Iran told the Free Beacon that Iran’s illicit activity has forced U.S. officials to walk back certain claims made about how the deal would reform Tehran.

“The administration isn’t even sure what to say any more. Sometimes they say that the nuclear deal is so weak Iran can’t violate it even if it illegally imports nuclear technology,” said one senior congressional adviser who works closely on the Iran portfolio. “Other times they say the nuclear deal is really strong, and they just ignore what even they admit are violations, like when Iran accumulated more heavy water than allowed a few months ago.”

Germany’s disclosure is the latest in a series of revelations that appear to show Iran stretching the limits of last summer’s nuclear deal.

The issue of ballistic missile technology has emerged as an issue of concern on Capitol Hill in light of the administration’s refusal to describe Iran’s ballistic missile tests as violations of UNSCR 2231.

German intel report charges Iran seeking illegal nuke, missile tech

July 8, 2016

German intel report charges Iran seeking illegal nuke, missile tech, Fox News, , July 7, 2016

While the German intelligence report did not say what specifically Iran had obtained or attempted to obtain, the more recent report said dual use goods such as carbon fiber must be reported. Iran did not seek permission from the UN-affiliated panel for its proliferation attempts and purchases in Germany, officials said.

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With the ink barely dry on the deal between the U.S. and Iran to prevent the Islamic Republic from securing nuclear weapons, a new German intelligence document charges that Iran continues to flout the agreement.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said in its annual report that Iran has a “clandestine” effort to seek illicit nuclear technology and equipment from German companies “at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level.” The findings by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s equivalent of the FBI, were issued in a 317-page report last week.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel underscored the findings in a statement to parliament, saying Iran violated the United Nations Security Council’s anti-missile development regulations.

“Iran continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the UN Security Council,” Merkel told the Bundestag.

Merkel told lawmakers NATO’s anti-missile system, including a shield in Romania and a planned shield in Poland, were deployed in response to Iran’s rocket program and was “developed purely for defense” in a sign of how seriously the alliance takes Iran’s illegal ambitions.

One year ago, world powers led by the U.S. negotiated a nuclear deal designed to curb Iran’s drive to obtain an atomic weapon of mass destruction. The lifting of sanctions and the release of more than $100 billion of assets frozen since Iran’s 1979 revolution came in exchange for Iran’s pledge to forgo its nuclear weapons program and be transparent to international inspections.

The German report also stated “it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”

According to an Institute for Science and International Security July 7 report by  David Albright and Andrea Stricker, Iran is required to get permission from a UN Security Council panel for “purchases of nuclear direct-use goods.”

While the German intelligence report did not say what specifically Iran had obtained or attempted to obtain, the more recent report said dual use goods such as carbon fiber must be reported. Iran did not seek permission from the UN-affiliated panel for its proliferation attempts and purchases in Germany, officials said.

In addition, the report identified more than 1,000 associates of Iranian-backed terror groups living in Germany, including some 950 Hezbollah members and supporters, as well as 300 Hamas members. The report implied that some of these individuals could be inside Germany working on behalf of Iran and other terror-sponsoring states.

“The followers of Islamist-terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah striving for the abolition of the Jewish State of Israel are focused on their regions of origin, which is where they commit most of their terrorist acts of violence,” the report said.