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Nuclear

Iran made multiple attempts to bolster weapons of mass destruction program: Report

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Iran made several attempts to obtain technology in 2020 to bolster its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program and consistently tried to develop atomic weapons, a new Dutch intelligence report found.

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The Netherlands ‘ General Intelligence and Security Service published a report in April which investigated networks that had attempted to gain more insight into the materials and knowledge to develop WMDs, online news media Fox News reported on Tuesday.

“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,” the Dutch report read.

The agency said that under its mandate, it “conducts investigations, provides information, and mobilizes third parties to safeguard the democratic legal order and national security, to actively reduce risks, and to contribute to foreign policy-making.”

“Countries such as Syria, Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea also tried to acquire such goods and technology in Europe and the Netherlands last year,” the report stated.

While the report shed light on the issues in this area, it did not provide details on the numerous attempts by the rogue nations to find and secure technology and weaponry for mass destruction, neither did it provide information on the legal nature of Iran’s acquisition of equipment and technology for its nuclear program.

In February, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei tweeted that “based on Islamic fundamentals and commands that prohibit weapons that are used for killing ordinary people,” the country was no longer pursuing nuclear weapons or building a nuclear weapons device.

However, findings from research carried out by three European intelligence agencies in 2021 contradicted Khamenei’s statement. According to Fox News, these findings are expected to fuel debate on the United States’ position with regards to the 2015 nuclear deal which former US president Donald Trump withdrew from.

This handout satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies on January 8, 2020 shows an overview of Iran's Natanz nuclear facility, south of the capital Tehran. (Reuters)
This handout satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies on January 8, 2020 shows an overview of Iran's Natanz nuclear facility, south of the capital Tehran. (Reuters)

“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,” a spokesperson for Senator Ted Cruz told Fox News.

Adding that, “Senator 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.”

In April, a report issued by Germany’s FBI equivalent, the Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, indicated that Iran looked to establish relations with German contacts that were involved in the high-tech field in a bid to “obtain the necessary know-how and corresponding components” to skirt the sanctions that had been imposed on them and to fulfill their production goals.

“Proliferation-relevant states like Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Pakistan are making efforts to expand on their conventional arsenal of weapons through the production or constant modernization of weapons of mass destruction,” the German intelligence report stated.

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