Is the #Iran regime still operating a secret nuclear program?

With the anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal coming up this Thursday 14th of July, the Financial Times, quoting the German domestic intelligence agency published this important and worrying story:

“Iran has attempted to acquire nuclear technology in Germany even after the atomic accord it reached with western powers in Vienna last July, according to the German domestic intelligence agency.

The annual report of the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV) said that illegal Iranian attempts to procure technology “continued on a quantitatively high level by international standards” in Germany in 2015.” (I emboldened the important parts)

The American response? According to State Department spokesperson John Kirby:

We have no information to indicate that Iran has procured any materials in violation of the JCPOA.  More generally, the IAEA has reported that Iran continues to implement its nuclear-related commitments under the deal.  We understand that Germany shares this view and is not suggesting that Iran has violated its JCPOA commitments.

Kirby then went to state:

We understand the BFV report is mainly about missiles; and while it does mention nuclear dual-use technology, it covers all of 2015 and makes no distinction about whether the reported activities occurred prior to the JCPOA coming into effect.

So whom should we believe?

The nuclear deal was signed on the 14th of July 2015, and it came into effect (also known as implementation day) on January 16 2016.

Even if the reported activities took place before the recent nuclear deal came into effect, we still have much to worry about. The reason: Iran was illegally trying to purchase equipment for its nuclear program, which to me says that Iran was at least until recently pursuing the secret part of its military nuclear program. If these purchases were for civilian purposes only, then why was the Iranian regime trying to hide them?

The Germans would have much to lose by publishing such a report, as the have many impending business deals with Iran. The fact that they have published these reports shows their level of concern.

And if these purchases did take place after the atomic deal with Iran, then at the very least, Iran is not only showing dishonesty, with such behavior it will be pushing investors away. After all, who would want to invest in a country which is sailing so close to the winds of new sanctions?  

#India, #Iran, and the Chabahar Port Deal

According to a new article by Dr Albert B.Wolf:

On Monday, May 23, the government of India announced that it would invest $500 million (USD) in the development of the Iranian port of Chabahar.

So whats so special about this deal? As he puts it in his article for the American Security Project:

The deal kills four birds with one stone: it bypasses Pakistan, bests China’s Maritime Silk Road project, provides New Delhi with greater access to oil-rich Central Asia and lowers its dependence on energy sources in the Middle East.  India’s investment has been welcomed in nearly all quarters in Tehran. Even with the gradual reduction in sanctions on the Islamic Republic, the heavy hand of the Pasdaran and the country’s out-of-date banking system have put off many potential foreign investors.

I highly recommend reading his article on this important, geostrategic development which impacts Iran, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. You can find it here.

In case you were wondering how the planned new railway line will connect India to Afghanistan via Iran: the map below explains.

Chabahar-Zahedan-Rail-Line