An Iranian nuclear smuggling ring is headed to court in Germany

Business Insider | 9/13/2017 | Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post
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The German Federal Court of Justice will rule on whether three businessmen can face criminal penalties for selling nuclear technology to Iran, allegedly to be used to develop weapons, prior to the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

The Jerusalem Post obtained a 2016 copy of the indictment against the three German businessmen and information from a Berlin criminal court on the new legal developments.

Businessmen - Bernd - Gehrad - L - René

The businessmen – Bernd Gehrad L., René L. and Ralf C. – delivered 51 highly specialized valves to Iran between 2010 and 2011. The value of the valves, including the delivery to a sanctioned Iranian company, amounted to €1 million.

According to the indictment, “Bernd and René recognized since at least 2009 that behind the buyer [of valves] Hossein T. was an organization that was banned from receiving nuclear-capable material.”

Hossein - T - Hossein - Tanideh - Operative

Hossein T. appears to be Hossein Tanideh, a key operative for Iran’s atomic program, who has served as the conduit for delivering highly desired German valves to Iran. The US Treasury Department sanctioned Tanideh in 2012 with a freeze of his assets because of his illicit nuclear procurement business.

The indictment said Hossein was the final recipient of the delivery of valves from a firm based in the Iranian city of Tabriz.

Indictment - Businessmen - Valves - Development - Weapons

The indictment said the businessmen knew that the valves could be applied to the “development of nuclear weapons.”

Germany’s criminal justice system does not disclose the last names of defendants, in order to protect their privacy.

Spokeswoman - Berlin - Court - Post - Process

A spokeswoman for the Berlin court told the Post that the legal process against the alleged smugglers was stopped after 15 court sessions. A “Berlin criminal court ruled that the criminal penalties for the indicted businessmen are unconstitutional. The legal question [on the constitutionality of the penalties] was sent to the Federal Court,” she said.

The spokeswoman said a ruling from the Federal Court...
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