Mittwoch, 3. August 2022

How EU and Germany abet Iranian military research

US President Biden's visit to the Middle East has brought to mind an issue that has receded somewhat into the background since the war in Ukraine: the looming threat of a highly armed Iran - along with the option that the regime in Tehran has deployable nuclear weapons.

Equally worrying are reports that Russia is being supplied with Iranian military technology, including drones, large numbers of which could be deployed by Russia in Ukraine.

Other states are also showing interest in Iranian drones.

I take this reporting as an opportunity to draw attention to a report that is aimed in particular at German industry as well as institutions involved in proliferation investigations: In this account, the recent death of an Iranian scientist - presumed to have been the victim of an attack - leads to a network of scientists and experts who conduct their research at an academic institution within the EU. The results of their work also benefit the Iranian military and Iran's nuclear programme. Not only Iranians are in this network, but also, for example, Chinese nationals who work for strictly sanctioned institutions in China. This includes a Chinese institution whose connection to the Bundeswehr University in Munich I had already analysed a few years ago.

Other individuals within this network have connections to the Pakistani Strategic Plans Division (SPD) as well as other relevant Pakistani institutions such as the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM) and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

Their research allows conclusions to be drawn about ongoing projects of interest to the Pakistani military. They also allow an insight into a scene of Pakistani scientists, PhD students and experts active in Germany, whose roots are clearly in security-sensitive areas. Some of them are connected to the Pakistani embassy in Berlin.

This network resp. the foreign research organisations and institutions behind it, has been able to establish excellent networks within the Western science community and also has corresponding connections to Germany.

The deceased Iranian scientist had apparently worked for an Iranian industrial institution. According to media reports, he was also involved in the development of drones - which fits into his research focus and publications. Some of the products of this Iranian institution are also based on the components of one of the largest and most traditional, globally active German companies. Some of these components can also be used in the context of uranium enrichment. The domain server of this Iranian facility is supplied by a German service provider and has its physical location with a very high probability and according to the research conducted so far also in Germany.

The risk analysis names individual persons in this network, lists the German products mentioned on the basis of an Iranian company catalogue and provides evidence of the German expressions of interest in the work of the deceased Iranian scientist articulated in social networks.

Finally, the enormous risks resulting from this special cooperation for German industry and research are also named. Ultimately, this risk analysis - based on strictly political science approaches - also results in the justified question of steps taken so far by the responsible authorities. These authorities and their respective departments should have noticed such an obvious and brazen circumvention of various international and national regulations long ago.

This commercial risk analysis will be offered soon on my website.