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Germany probing illegal exports to Iran

Investigation reveals Iranian-German broker sold Tehran components needed for its atom work; Berlin struggles to prevent illegal trade

German conglomerates are still doing business with Iran, despite the international embargo to that effect, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Tuesday.

 

According to the report, illegal exports of supplies that Iran can use in its nuclear program are still ongoing, and several arrests have been made.

 

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Two Iranian-Germans are suspected of heading a contraband smuggling ring that allegedly supplied valves to Tehran's atom program. Two other people were arrested following raids in Oldenburg, Weimar and Halle.

 

Investigators claim the deal dates back to 2007, when an Iranian national identified as "Hossein T," made contact with a elderly German engineer, "Rudolph M" (78), in the eastern German city of Weimar.

 

According the Berlin federal prosecutors, Hossein "runs a number of companies that are closely linked to the Iranian nuclear program."

 


(Photo: EPA)

 

Hossein is suspected of purchasing special components on behalf of the Modern Industries Technique Company – a known shell company that deals with Iran.

 

Among the components procured were 1,800 valves that are of vital for Tehran's nuclear program. The deal was worth $7.7 million to the Iranians.

 

Iranian-German collaborations have a long history and according to the report, a recent situation assessment made by Germany's Customs Criminal Investigation Office said that the country serves as a "focal point for Iran's procurement activity."

 

Berlin, the report added, is struggling to prevent illegal exports to the Islamic Republic.

 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted as saying that Berlin's policies aim "to force Iran to be more transparent," and that Germany has yet to exhaust the sanctions it can impose on Tehran.

 

In 2007, Germany pledged to the international community that it will "do everything that it can to ensure that trade with Iran will not simply seek out new routes."

 

 

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פרסום ראשון: 10.02.12, 14:03
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