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Two men charged for Iran missile parts exports

AFP · 7 Apr 2010, 14:56

Published: 07 Apr 2010 14:56 GMT+02:00

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Iranian citizen Mohsen A., 52, and German-Iranian engineer Behzad S., 49, teamed up to buy a furnace used in making warheads and missile guidance systems from an unnamed German firm, federal prosecutors said.

Both men, who were formally charged on March 24 with breaching an EU and US embargo on such materials, "knew that the equipment was meant to be used in the Iranian missile programme," prosecutors said in a statement.

The United States and European Union suspect that Iran wants to develop nuclear weapons, an accusation Tehran denies.

"Iran has been developing long-range missiles to carry weapons of mass destruction since the late 1990s," prosecutors said. "In order to get around the export restrictions, Iran gets hold of the technology needed for its missile programme via third party firms."

Mohsen A., tapped by a "leading employee of Iran's missile programme," bought the furnace from the German firm in 2007 for €850,000, telling German customs that he was the final recipient.

The furnace was then shipped to Iran and in March 2008 the German firm began to install it. They stopped work however after learning that Mohsen A. was suspected of working for the Iranian government.

Mohsen A. was arrested in October following a series of raids at commercial and private premises around Germany, and remains in custody, prosecutors said. Behzad S. is currently a free man.

Germany, the world's number two exporter after China, sold €3.7 billion in goods to Iran in 2009, official figures show, but German firms have cut ties amid unease over Tehran's nuclear programme and government pressure.

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Berlin has already reduced the special export guarantees crucial to companies trading with Iran.

In addition, the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has spoken out strongly in favour of fresh sanctions, is applying pressure on business groups not to organise seminars on Iran or business trips to the country, according to media reports.

Germany is one of six countries negotiating with Tehran over its nuclear programme, along with permanent UN Security Council members the United States, China, Russia, Britain and France.

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Your comments about this article

16:38 April 7, 2010 by suroormalik
I can't trust on america and their policy....they always lie ....they said totally wrong against iraq and all world see this fact on tv....wht was this....they destroyed all country and could not find any thing.....who is the responsible.........???????anyone tell me....

many countries has missile programs,,,long range....dangerious and deadly weapons, bombs, etc., but they escape behind their media policy.....they create propaganda against rest of the world and not see in their own country.....

i think all rules should be same for all world...........
17:01 April 7, 2010 by Beynch
@suroormalik: Please refer to my comment in the above story about 'Westerwelle` and nuclear proliferation. - I rest my case! Get a grip suroormalik!
22:35 April 7, 2010 by whatzup
Destroyed the country Suroormalk? No that wasn't us, we saved it from a tyrant. Its the Iraquis fighting each other that did most of the damage. Its too bad too, with all that oil they could be living like kings but they hate each other too much to enjoy it.
08:23 April 8, 2010 by blogboy
to @suroormalik

America was right about the Cuban missile crisis, Woodrow Wilson the founder of the league of nations (later the UN) said without the 14 points being accepeted by the others nations involved in WW1 there would be another war; WW2 started 20 years later. America was right to stand up against the USSR and had a role in getting Berlin wall taken down. So I don't think America always lies. America is not always right and is not perfect. But if you look at any nation in Europe the mideast, and Asia I bet they are not perfect either, they all have lied to their people. Not to mention started just or unjust wars alike. I am tired of America being the wiping boy of the world. If you ask me we are all at fault for what we do to each other.
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