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Report: Iran made 32 attempts to procure ballistic missile technology
German intelligence agencies report Iran made 32 procurement attempts relating to technology used in ballistic missile programs during '16 after nuclear deal was already in place, and 141 attempts in '15; attempts very likely 'undertaken for benefit of (nuclear) proliferation programs.'
Iran attempted to procure technology related to its nuclear missile capabilities 32 times during 2016, Fox News quoted German intelligence agencies as saying Tuesday, despite the fact that the 2015 nuclear agreement it had reached with the West prohibited Iran from doing so.

 

 

Report of Iran's alleged infractions of the deal came mere days before US President Donald Trump announces whether he'll continue to certify Iran's compliance with the deal to Congress, while the latter cautioned against making any changes to the agreement.

 

Iran's recently unveiled Khorramshahr missile (Photo: AFP, IRIB TV)
Iran's recently unveiled Khorramshahr missile (Photo: AFP, IRIB TV)

 

Apart from the 32 alleged breaches reported by Fox News, Iran was also said to have committed 141 such attempts in the previous year, before the agreement was put into effect.

 

Iran attempted to obtain technology for its ballistic missile programs defined as prohibited under the agreement, as the missiles would be capable of carrying nuclear payloads, the agencies said.

 

President Rouhani speaking on the nuclear deal

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The new information, drawn from reports made September and October, disclosed Iran made "32 procurement attempts…that definitely or with high likelihood were undertaken for the benefit of proliferation programs."

 

The reported attempts were carried out in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the report described Iran as engaged in proliferation, defined as "Spreading atomic, biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction."

 

Iranian President Rouhani cautioned against any changes to the deal (Photo: AP)
Iranian President Rouhani cautioned against any changes to the deal (Photo: AP)

 

North Rhine-Westphalia's intelligence agency alleged Iran used shell companies in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and China to go around restrictions placed on the country and its nuclear and missile programs.

 

Most of Iran's 2016 attempts to procure technology in that German state, Fox New reported, were mostly related to the regime's missile program. Others reports added Iran has been working non-stop on the program.

 

On the American side, Trump is expected to announce Iran violated the "spirit" of the agreement, following information he claimed to have received from informed sources.

 

Current US law stipulates the president has to certify Iran's compliance with the agreement every three months. Should he choose to stop such certification, Congress has 60 days to decide whether to impose sanctions on the renegade regime once again.

 

In his UN speech, Trump said the deal was 'one of the worst' the US had ever done (Photo: AFP)
In his UN speech, Trump said the deal was 'one of the worst' the US had ever done (Photo: AFP)

 

Trump's administration is already in talks, congressional aides and other sources said, on potential legislation "strengthening" Iran's agreement with the P5+1 group.

 

Two weeks ago, while speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, Trump said, "The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don't think you've heard the last of it.

 

"The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change," the president added ominously.

 

ICAN Director Fihn said the Iran deal should be maintained to avoid 'further conflict; (Photo: AP)
ICAN Director Fihn said the Iran deal should be maintained to avoid 'further conflict; (Photo: AP)

 

Monday, director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Beatrice Fihn said the Iran deal should be upheld to "avoid causing any more conflict."

 

"This is not really what the world needs right now (…) We see no evidence that Iran is not complying with it," added the director of the organization just recently bestowed with the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

 

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