A German federal intelligence report has revealed Iran’s persistent efforts to acquire technology illegally, in order to develop its nuclear and missile program, and target opponents living in Germany. It also has highlighted the increase in the number of Hezbollah and Hamas supporters in the country.
The report, released by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the official name of the Internal Intelligence Agency, details the security threats the Federal Republic faced in 2020. From Iran’s pursuit of illegal technology for its nuclear weapons program to its increasing attempts to secure materials for its missile program, German media reported.
“Indications of Tehran’s attempts to make proliferation-related procurement deals for its nuclear program increased in 2020,” the report says.
“Proliferation activities appear to be the proliferation of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction or goods and techniques used to manufacture them, weapons carrying systems such as missiles and drones, and technology,” the report adds.
According to the report, the Iranian regime has sought to obtain technology for its missile program, given that it is not included in the 2015 nuclear agreement, “therefore, Iranian procurement activities in Germany have remained consistently high.”
The German intelligence agency has indicated in the report that the Iranian regime is seeking to develop one of the largest missile programs in the Middle East. The report notes that Tehran is accused of providing missile and drone technology to various states and non-governmental actors in the Middle East, considering this a violation of current Security Council resolutions.
In the context, the German intelligence report اhas indicated that a Chinese businessman and his German employee were convicted in a Bavaria court last September, of sending “proliferation-related machines” to Iran, with the participation of Iranian procurement companies while deceiving the responsible authorities on export control.
“The actual use of machinery in Iran’s missile launch technology cannot be ruled out,” the report adds.
It is noteworthy that the “Jerome Post” newspaper had previously reported that Swedish, Dutch and German intelligence reports, over the past few months, concluded that Iran had sought to acquire nuclear technology for its program in 2020.
On the other hand, German intelligence indicates in its report that the number of Hezbollah supporters and members in Germany has risen from 1,050 in 2019 to 1,250 in 2020, and the number of Hamas supporters in the country has risen from 380 in 2019 to 450 in 2020.
It is noteworthy that the newspaper had reported about two weeks ago, quoting a report of the internal intelligence agency for the German state of Lower Saxony, that the number of members and supporters of Hezbollah in the state amounted to about 180 members, an increase of 20 members from 160 in 2019.
According to the report, Hezbollah followers maintain organizational and ideological coherence, among other things, in local mosque associations, which are funded primarily through donations.
It is worth noting that another intelligence report issued last April confirmed that Iran did not stop its efforts to possess weapons of mass destruction during 2020, and also mentioned on Iran’s “espionage” activities in Germany.
The latest report also describes Iran’s intelligence services as “a central tool through which the political leadership maintains control.” As a result, these services focus on the Iranian opposition, and “the threat level of Iranian opponents in Germany and Europe remained high in 2020.”
On the other hand, the report has indicated that the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence targets people in the country for “work or family visits,” and the Ministry of Interior puts pressure on opponents by targeting their family members in Iran to force them to cooperate with intelligence.
German media have expected the latest report to have an impact on the current negotiations in Vienna on reviving the 2015 agreement.