A German-Iranian man apprehended by police on Tuesday is suspected of supplying equipment to be used in Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, federal prosecutors in Germany said.
The German prosecutor said police have searched offices and apartments they had linked to the suspect in 11 locations in three different German states, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia, Deutsche Welle reported.
Alexander J., whose real name was not released due to German privacy laws, is accused of supplying $1.3 million worth of equipment to an Iranian national who runs a company that has been banned by the EU.
The EU stated that the company was used as a front to purchase equipment needed to Iran’s enrichment of uranium.
According to the prosecutor, Alexander J. was allegedly asked in 2018 and 2019 to provide laboratory equipment. The suspect is accused of shipping two spectrometers worth nearly $200,000 to Iran in January 2020. Prosecutors said he sent two other spectrometers to Iran that cost $580,000 half a year later.
In order to do so legally, he would have had to apply for an export license exemption for a firm on the EU’s blacklist.
Spectrometers play an important role in nuclear fission work.
The New York Times on Tuesday cited data from reports by IAEA officials last week that estimated Iran’s nuclear program is now just a month away from breakout capacity, marking the point at which the country has sufficient enriched weapons-grade materials to assemble a single atomic bomb.