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Iranian "Secret Agent" Charged in Germany

DW staff (ah)September 11, 2008

German federal prosecutors said Wednesday they had indicted an Iranian “secret agent” for purchasing large quantities of weapons equipment for the Defense Industries Organization (DIO) of Iran.

The Iranian man is suspected of having violated Germany's arms export lawsImage: AP

The man referred to as Saeed Sadeghi E, aged 52, is to be tried in Munich for espionage and 29 counts of breaching German arms export regulations between 2002 and 2006, prosecutors in Karlsruhe said on Wednesday, Sept 10.

The DIO had ordered machinery, parts and raw materials through Sadeghi E valued at 600,000 euros ($860,000), the prosecutors said.

DIO oversees Iran's armaments factories and has been described by German authorities as using “secret service methods” to increase state armaments production.

The purchases were for plants making conventional weapons, not nuclear ones, according to the statement.

The statement said that Sadeghi E. had set up a front company in Switzerland to make the purchases from German suppliers, and used a Bavarian-based freight company to ship parts to Iran. He was in fact conducting the business from his home in Duesseldorf in Western Germany.

Sadeghi E, who had dual Iranian and German nationality, was arrested in Nov. 2006 and has been free on bail since Feb. 2007, the statement said.