An illegal network to smuggle nuclear equipment from Russia to Iran has been arrested in Germany. Investigators say that it goes about shipments in the sum of 150 million dollars – the tip of the iceberg. A Berlin-based company Vero Handels GmbH making electric and chemical household goods was used as a cover up for the network. The company belonged to a man holding Russian and German citizenships – Dmitry Zolotarev.
Iranian official say that the nuclear power station in Bushehr (a project where Russia takes direct participation) is meant for peaceful purposes only. However, foreign politicians and specialists say that Iran is working on the station to make nuclear weapons. Germany supported the project in the 1970s, but then pulled out from it, whereas Iran was forbidden to deal with the deliveries of nuclear technologies.
German companies found an escape clause: they disguised their links with Iran under cooperation with Russian enterprises. The smugglers used the fact that Russian laws do not restrict commercial relations with Iran.
The German police conducted a large-scale action in Bavaria, Berlin, Hamburg, Lower Saxony and several other regions of the country, Deutsche Well said. The equipment arrested as a result of the search – electronic components, transformers and electric cables – was going to be shipped to Iran and could be used for the nuclear program of the estranged nation. The confiscated equipment was evaluated at up to five million euros.
The arrested cables were made at an enterprise on the outskirts of Frankfurt am Main. The product was made to be sold to a defense company in Iran and could subsequently be used for the needs of the Iranian army.
German prosecutors say that the suspects on the case will be called into criminal account only if investigators prove that they deliberately contributed to the development of the Iranian nuclear program.
It is an open secret that the U.S. administration sets out deep concerns about any kind of commercial cooperation with Iran. Germany may receive a statement of reproach from the USA in connection with the above-described incident.
Italy is another country that incurred anger of the U.S. administration. The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps purchased hundreds of patrol boats, trucks for missiles and other equipment in Italy. All the deals were conducted through a branch of Sepah Bank registered in the heart of Rome.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov