Germany arrests man for shipping equipment for Iran's nuclear programme

·1 min read

BERLIN (Reuters) - German police arrested a German-Iranian man suspected of exporting equipment to be used in Iran's nuclear and missile programmes in breach of European Union sanctions, Germany's federal prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Police searched 11 locations, including apartments and offices in the states of Hamburg, Schleswig Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia linked to the suspect, the prosecutor said.

The suspect, identified only as Alexander J. under privacy rules, had shipped equipment worth 1.1 million euros to an Iranian whose company in Iran was blacklisted by the EU as a front to procure equipment for nuclear and rocket programmes.

The GBA general prosecutor's office said the suspect was approached in 2018 and 2019 to procure laboratory equipment. He shipped two spectrometers procured for 166,000 euros ($196,510.80) to Iran in Jan. 2020, and six months later shipped another two, procured for 388,000 euros.

He did not apply for a special export licence which would have been required to ship such equipment to a recipient on the EU blacklist.

Western countries have long accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, which Tehran denies. In 2015, Iran signed a deal with global powers to curb its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of international sanctions. U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal, and Iran responded by violating some of its terms. Negotiations have been held this year to revive it.

($1 = 0.8447 euros)

(Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Peter Graff)

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