German Intelligence Agency Says Iran Seeks to Develop its Nuclear Program

A new cruise missile unveiled by Iran and called martyr Abu Mahdi is seen in an unknown location in Iran in this picture received by Reuters on August 20, 2020. (West Asia News Agency via Reuters)
A new cruise missile unveiled by Iran and called martyr Abu Mahdi is seen in an unknown location in Iran in this picture received by Reuters on August 20, 2020. (West Asia News Agency via Reuters)
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German Intelligence Agency Says Iran Seeks to Develop its Nuclear Program

A new cruise missile unveiled by Iran and called martyr Abu Mahdi is seen in an unknown location in Iran in this picture received by Reuters on August 20, 2020. (West Asia News Agency via Reuters)
A new cruise missile unveiled by Iran and called martyr Abu Mahdi is seen in an unknown location in Iran in this picture received by Reuters on August 20, 2020. (West Asia News Agency via Reuters)

Tehran was seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction technology and ballistic missile systems in 2019, a German state intelligence agency has confirmed.

Saarland’s Department for the Protection of the Constitution said Iran was one of three foreign counties that had sought to advance its weapons of mass destruction program on German soil.

Several intelligence reports from different states have affirmed Iran’s attempts to purchase components used in the development of nuclear and missile weapons during 2019.

Each of the 16 German federal states has its own domestic intelligence services, which issues an annual report documenting threats to the state’s democratic system.

For instance, a 181-page report by Baden-Wurttemberg's state intelligence agency stated that “countries like Iran, Pakistan and North Korea are making efforts to optimize corresponding technology.”

“They aim to complete their arsenals, improve range, applicability and effectiveness of their weapons and develop new systems,” the report noted.

Also, a report on the proliferation of atomic, biological and chemical weapons from Baden-Wurttemberg's state intelligence agency revealed how these countries continue to make illegal procurement efforts in Germany to perfect the range, deployability and impact of their weapons.

Previous reports by other state-level domestic intelligence agencies working within Germany’s federal system have, in recent years, reported that Iran has used its spy networks to advance its nuclear weapons program.

The Jerusalem Post reviewed the 112-page intelligence report, which was released last week and dubbed “Overview of the situation,” addressing security threats faced in 2019 by the small west-German state Saarland.

“Iran, Pakistan and to a lesser extent Syria, made efforts to procure goods and know-how for the further development of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems,” wrote Saarland’s intelligence officials, in an indication to the capability to launch missiles.

The US and many Gulf nations believe that the Iranian regime has been seeking for many years now to develop nuclear weapons.

The Post contacted the Saarland domestic intelligence agency regarding the nature of the illicit proliferation material that Iran sought in 2019.

Katrin Thomas, the spokeswoman for the domestic intelligence agency, replied by an email on Friday that “the Protection of the Constitution in Saarland does not pass on any information on the activities of groups or individuals.”

According to the report, the intelligence services of these countries are present with varying staffing levels “at the respective official and semi-official representations in Germany and maintain so-called legal residencies there.”



North Korean Official Criticizes US for Expanding Support for Ukraine 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un smile during their meeting at the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport outside Pyongyang, North Korea, on June 19, 2024. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un smile during their meeting at the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport outside Pyongyang, North Korea, on June 19, 2024. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
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North Korean Official Criticizes US for Expanding Support for Ukraine 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un smile during their meeting at the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport outside Pyongyang, North Korea, on June 19, 2024. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un smile during their meeting at the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport outside Pyongyang, North Korea, on June 19, 2024. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

A top North Korean military official on Monday criticized the United States over its expanding military assistance to Ukraine, reaffirming the reclusive state's support for Moscow in the Ukraine war, according to state media KCNA.

Washington and Seoul have been increasingly alarmed by deepening military cooperation between Russia and the North, and have accused them of violating international laws by trading in arms for Russia to use against Ukraine. Moscow and Pyongyang have denied any arms transfer.

A pact signed by Russia's Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during Putin's visit to Pyongyang last week commits each side to provide immediate military assistance to the other in the event of armed aggression against either one of them.

Putin on Monday thanked Kim for his hospitality during the trip which brought ties to an unprecedented level, the Kremlin said on Monday.

Analysts say the pact would lay the framework for arms trade between the two countries and facilitate their anti-US and anti-West coalition.

Pak Jong Chon, one of North Korea's top military officials, said Russia has the "right to opt for any kind of retaliatory strike" in a statement carried by KCNA on Monday, adding if Washington kept pushing Ukraine to a "proxy war" against Russia, it could provoke a stronger response from Moscow, and a "new world war".

He referred to comments by the Pentagon last week that Ukrainian forces can use US-supplied weapons to strike Russian forces anywhere across the border into Russia.

Senior officials of South Korea, the US and Japan condemned "in the strongest possible terms" deepening military cooperation between North Korea and Russia in a joint statement released by Seoul's foreign ministry on Monday.

Russia may have received about 1.6 million artillery shells from North Korea from August to January, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, analyzing data from a US security nonprofit C4ADS that shows 74,000 metric tons of explosives moved from Russia's far east ports to other sites mainly along the borders near Ukraine.

Putin's mutual defense agreement with North Korea has the potential to create friction with China, which has long been the isolated state's main ally, the top US military officer said on Sunday.

North Korea plans to send construction and engineering forces to Russia-occupied territories of Ukraine as early as next month for rebuilding work, a South Korean cable TV network TV Chosun reported earlier, citing a South Korean government official.

Those forces, working overseas under the disguise of construction workers to earn hard currency for the regime, would be moved from China to those Russia-held regions, the network said. South Korea's foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment on the TV Chosun reports.