Middle East

German-Iranian arrested for shipping missile parts

A picture obtained from Iran's ISNA news agency shows an anti-missile system dubbed the Sayyad-2 (Hunter 2), during the inauguration of it's production line in Tehran on November 9, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ISNA/STR

BERLIN: German police have arrested a man suspected of having purchased equipment for Iran's ballistic missile programme in breach of international sanctions, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The suspect detained Tuesday was identified only as German-Iranian dual national Ali Reza B., 62, who had lived in or around Bonn, western Germany, they said.

Customs officers had searched his home and business premises, according to a statement by Germany's federal prosecution service in the western city of Karlsruhe.

The suspect was accused of having purchased valves, vacuum pumps and other high-tech equipment and of shipping it to Iran via an Arab country.

The goods, which were manufactured in Germany and elsewhere, were "dual-use", meaning they have both military and civilian uses, the statement said.

The total value of 12 known shipments between 2011 and 2013 was almost 230,000 euros ($316,000), the prosecutors' office said.

The goods were sent to an Iranian organisation that has been targeted with sanctions since 2007, thereby breaching German foreign trade law, the statement said.

Western powers and Israel have long suspected Iran is seeking a nuclear weapons capability -- a claim denied by Tehran -- together with the missiles that could deliver an atomic warhead.

President Hassan Rouhani's government has reached an interim deal to defuse the dispute in ongoing talks with the so-called P5 1, Britain, France, the United States, Russia and China plus Germany.





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