Iran's fast-moving development of weapons-grade uranium is bringing the possibility of an Iranian first nuclear test closer.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is close to possibly testing a nuclear weapons device and has sought to obtain illicit technology for its active atomic weapons program, according to a series of shocking European intelligence reports released in 2023.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) first published translations of the intelligence documents on its website. The Jerusalem Post is the first Israeli newspaper to report on the intelligence findings from the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany.
The most unsettling revelation from the batch of intelligence data comes from the Netherlands General and Intelligence Security Service (AVID).
The AVID determined the Iranian regime’s fast-moving development of weapons-grade uranium "brings the option of a possible Iranian first nuclear test closer."
According to the Dutch intelligence report, "Last year, Iran proceeded with its nuclear program. The country continues to increase stocks of 20% and 60% enriched uranium. By means of centrifuges, this can be used for further enrichment to the 90% enriched uranium needed for a nuclear weapon."
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The AVID report added "Iran is further ignoring the agreements that were made within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). And by deploying increasingly more sophisticated uranium enrichment centrifuges it is enlarging its enrichment capacity."
The Swedish Security Service wrote in its annual report in 2023 that "Iran engages in industrial espionage, which is mainly aimed at the Swedish high-tech industry and Swedish products that can be used in nuclear weapons program."
Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV)—the country’s federal domestic intelligence agency—said in its report "The authorities for the protection of the constitution were able to find, in 2022, a consistently high number of indications of proliferation relevant procurement attempts by Iran for its nuclear programs.”
The German domestic intelligence agency defines proliferation as "the activities of foreign powers (that) also include procuring products and knowledge for the production of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, other armaments or elements of new weapon systems."
The Jerusalem Post located a 2023 report from Denmark’s national security and intelligence service (PET) that stated “International sanctions have been imposed on Iran due to its nuclear and missile programs, human rights violations and weapons sales to Russia. PET assesses that Iranian actors attempt to circumvent the sanctions by trying to procure Danish products and technology, including via third-party countries, that may be used in Iran's weapons production or military programs.”
Israeli Brig. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser (res.), a senior researcher at the Israeli Defense Security Forum and an expert on Iran, told the Post "Iran is evidently committed to its nuclear weapons plan."
Kuperwasser continued "The European intelligence reports describe covert Iranian efforts to shorten the breakout time to a nuclear arsenal by illegally acquiring equipment and knowledge from various European countries."
Kuperwasser , who is widely considered a leading expert on Iran’s nuclear weapons program, added "The reports only expose part of the Iranian efforts in Europe, and it would be wise to assume that many of those efforts have remained clandestine. Iran is likely interpreting Western policy towards it as a sign of weakness since European and US actions against Iran (have) been passive and unintimidating."
Source; The Jerusalem Post