Authorities are questioning a businessman over the sale of two high-tech furnaces to Iran. Two other people are under investigation for assisting him with the deal worth 2.8 million euros ($4.1 million).
German authorities feared the furnaces could be used to build launch facilities for Iranian missiles
German police have arrested a man they say was exporting equipment to Iran that could be used for missile-building.
German federal prosecutors identified the man on Saturday as Mohsen A., a 52 year old businessman with Iranian citizenship. He was taken into custody after authorities searched several residences and businesses in the states of Thuringia, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hamburg and Bavaria. They were also investigating a 64-year-old German national and a 49-year-old man with dual German-Iranian citizenship.
They are accused of selling a sintering furnace, used to weld metal parts at extremely high temperatures, to Iran in 2007. Such equipment can be used to build long-range missile launching components, and German law forbids their export to Iran, which is under a United Nations embargo.
Prosecutors said that in July 2008, the group was in the process of exporting a second furnace to a front company in Asia that would have sent it on to Iran.
Editor: Ranty Islam