German police have arrested a man of German and Iranian nationalities who is suspected of having exported equipment that could be used in Iran’s nuclear or missile development programs.
It is in violation of the terms of the sanctions the European Union has imposed on Iran, German prosecutors said on Tuesday (14).
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During the investigation, police investigated 11 locations, such as apartments and offices in the states of Hamburg, Schleswig Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia.
The suspect is identified as Alexander J. (there are rules in Germany about disclosing the names of suspects).
He had shipped 1.1 million euros ($6.8 million) worth of equipment to an Iranian owner of a company that was vetoed by the European Union as a front company for Iran’s missile and nuclear programs.
The German Attorney General’s Office said the suspect would have been approached in 2018 and 2019 to acquire laboratory equipment. He shipped four spectrometers whose prices total 1.1 million euros.
The man did not apply for the special export license that would have been required to ship this equipment to a recipient on the European Union’s blacklist.
Western countries accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, which the Iranian government denies. In 2015, Iran signed an agreement with global powers to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting international sanctions. US President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the agreement, and Iran responded by violating some of its terms. Negotiations were held this year to resume the agreement.
Iran is close to getting the bomb, says newspaper
The “New York Times” published a text in which it claims that Iran is close to obtaining material for a first nuclear weapon.
The newspaper spoke with US government officials who had access to estimates made by the Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) showing that Iran may take a few months to develop its first nuclear weapon.
However, analysts consider that the Iranians are still far from being able to make a warhead that can resist at the tip of a missile and manage to leave and enter the atmosphere.