Germany Makes Arrests Over Iran Nuclear Embargo Violations

German authorities arrested three men charged with violating sanctions against Iran by delivering parts bound for a nuclear reactor in the Islamic republic.

The Federal Prosecutor identified German and Iranian nationals Kianzad Ka. and Gholamali Ka., plus a German citizen, Rudolf M., as suspects, according to an e-mailed statement. Some 90 officials made the arrests in Hamburg, Oldenburg and Weimar today and carried out raids on an apartment and a business in Halle in eastern Germany, the prosecutor said.

The three are under “acute” suspicion of violating international sanctions against Iran put in place over the country’s disputed nuclear program. The U.S. and its allies accuse of Iran of harboring ambitions to build nuclear weapons, while Iran has said its program is for peaceful purposes.

Germany’s Karlsruhe-based prosecutor said the three suspects conspired in 2010 and 2011 to deliver custom-built valves for use in a heavy-water reactor in Iran. The accused skirted export controls by identifying the recipients of the supplies as firms in Turkey and Azerbaijan, knowing that they were in fact shell companies for a “middleman” of an Iranian procurer, it said.

“The deliveries were part of a larger order worth several million euros, which Iran tried to use to gain access to the valve technology for the construction of the heavy-water reactor,” the prosecutor said in the statement.

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