According to Swedish, German, and Dutch reports, Iran is still pursuing nuclear weapons. This comes as the Biden administration and many NATO allies are intent on restarting the Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as it is formally called.
Former President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. At the time, most of Europe criticized Washington, stating that the deal was the best way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
In late January 2018, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency broke into a warehouse where Iran was storing its nuclear files after signing the JCPOA in 2015. The files clearly showed that the Iranians were intent on building nuclear weapons.
American Allies Point to Iran as a Threat
Säpo, the Swedish Security Police published its annual report last Friday. It named Iran among the greatest threats alongside Russia and China. It also specified “recruitment attempts and attempts to influence researchers in Sweden.” This, according to the report, is done to “strengthen the country’s economic and political status and military power.”
“Iran also conducts industrial espionage, which is mainly targeted against the Swedish hi-tech industry and Swedish products, which can be used in nuclear weapons programs. Iran is investing heavy resources in this area and some of the resources are used in Sweden,” the report added.
The German report, which was released on Friday, stated that Iran was using proxies from Syria, North Korea, and Pakistan to try to obtain and transport material for nuclear weapons or weapons of mass destruction (WMD), via third countries. “Weapons of mass destruction continued to be an instrument of power politics that can shake the stability of an entire state structure in both regional and international crisis situations.”
“In particular, states such as Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, and Syria tried to acquire and distribute such weapons as part of the proliferation, for example, by concealing the transport routes via third countries. The aim of such intelligence measures was to circumvent control mechanisms over third countries that are not subject to special embargo regulations,” the report says.
In 2020, German state intelligence agencies had declared that Iran’s regime continues to seek technology and material to build weapons of mass destruction.
Iran Still Denies Pursuing Nuclear Weapons, Despite All Evidence
The Netherlands’ General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), “investigated networks that tried to obtain the knowledge and materials to develop weapons of mass destruction. Multiple acquisition attempts have been frustrated by the intervention of the services,” AIVD posted in a report last month.
Included in the Dutch report, AIVD noted that,
“The joint Counter-proliferation Unit (UCP) of the AIVD [the General Intelligence and Security Service] and the MIVD [the country’s Military Intelligence and Security Service] is investigating how countries try to obtain the knowledge and goods they need to make weapons of mass destruction. Countries such as Syria, Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea also tried to acquire such goods and technology in Europe and the Netherlands last year.”
Iran has been adamant that it is not seeking to produce nuclear weapons. Instead, it claims that it is only pursuing nuclear power for peaceful purposes despite the discovery of compelling evidence to the contrary. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that the U.S. has been defeated in its “economic war” against Iran, adding that sanctions leveled by the Trump administration, are at the “brink of termination.”
“With the enemy’s defeat in the economic war and the sanctions coming closer to the brink of termination considering the recent [JCPOA] negotiations, there are hopes that the country’s economy would return to the course of balance and boom of the years 2014 to 2017,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by the Tasim News Agency.
Washington Still Pursues Negotiations
But Washington continues its indirect negotiations with Iran on restarting the JCPOA. National security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with ABC News saying that there still isn’t a deal with Tehran yet.
“There’s still a fair distance to travel to close the remaining gaps, and those gaps are over what sanctions the United States and other countries will roll back,” Sullivan added. “They are over what nuclear restrictions Iran will accept on its program to ensure that they can never get a nuclear weapon.”
Republicans in Congress Disagree
A spokesman for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) told Fox News, “The Iranian regime has never stopped seeking weapons of mass destruction to use against America and our allies. Nevertheless, the Biden administration, like the Obama administration, is committed to dismantling all meaningful pressure against the regime and flooding it with hundreds of billions of dollars.”
“Sen. Cruz had fought for years to prevent that from happening, and continues to emphasize that any deal with Iran not brought to the Senate as a treaty and passed by the Senate can and will be reversed by a future administration,” the spokesman added.
It will be interesting to see if any of our European allies and the Biden administration who criticized Trump for withdrawing from the JCPOA, will see this as Iran never being forthcoming in following the statements that Tehran made about never seeking nuclear weapons, or will they blame the U.S. for pushing Iran towards that end?