German Intelligence: Iran Has Attempted to Buy Illegal Nuclear Technology After 2015 Deal

Iran nuclear deal agreement
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (2nd R), US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) and the European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (L) talk to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif after Iran nuclear in Vienna, Austria, July 14, 2015. German intelligence has accused Tehran of attempting to acquire illegal nuclear technology after the historic deal. Carlos Barria/AFP/Getty Images

Iran has attempted to purchase illegal nuclear technologies in contravention of the historic nuclear accord signed with world powers last year, a German intelligence report alleges.

The annual report released by Germany's domestic security agency, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), on Thursday said that Iranian attempts to acquire technologies in Germany "continued on a quantitatively high level by international standards" in 2015.

"This was particularly the case for merchandise that could be deployed in the field of nuclear technology," the report said.

The nuclear deal, signed in July 2015 between Tehran and six world powers, contained Iran's nuclear programme through the closure of thousands of the country's centrifuges, where uranium can be enriched, and the vast reduction of the the country's uranium stockpile. In return, the international community lifted a crippling sanctions regime on the Iranian economy.

But the BfV report says there has also been a continuation of Iranian attempts to boost its missile technology. It says that there has been "a further increase in the already considerable procurement efforts in connection with Iran's ambitious missile technology program which could among other things potentially serve to deliver nuclear weapons."

Such missile production and tests of the weapons could be viewed as being opposed to the U.N. Security Council's rulings on missile development, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

"Iran continued unabated to develop its rocket program in conflict with the relevant provisions of the U.N. Security Council," she said in an address to the Bundestag.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in January that Iran had so far carried out its commitments to the nuclear deal, unlocking further sanctions on Tehran's economy.

But critics of the deal, such as the Israeli government and U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, have spoken out about Iranian intentions and called for the deal to be scrapped. While Iran has always said that its nuclear programme was developed for peaceful purposes only, the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed Israel will not exist as a country within 25 years, in a seeming threat to destroy the country.

On Thursday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a confidential report seen by Reuters that Iran's ballistic missile launches, as the one that Tehran conducted in March, "are not consistent with the constructive spirit" of the nuclear deal.

"I call upon Iran to refrain from conducting such ballistic missile launches since they have the potential to increase tensions in the region," he wrote in a report delivered to the 15-member U.N. Security Council and that will be discussed by the organ on July 18.

"While it is for the Security Council to interpret its own resolutions, I am concerned that those ballistic missile launches are not consistent with the constructive spirit demonstrated by the signing of the (Iran nuclear deal)," he continued.