WT - German connection
Inside the Ring
November 16, 2007
Iranian exiles have identified three companies in Germany that are linked to Iran's Ministry of Defense and that are working to obtain defense and military goods for the regime in Tehran.
The exile-led National Council of Resistance of Iran, working with sources inside of Iran, identified the companies, all located in Dusseldorf, as the Farzanegan Co., the Ascotech Co., and the Persia System Co., also known as the DDC Co.
According to the group, which in the past provided the U.S. government with accurate information on Iran's covert nuclear program, Farzanegan is part of the Iranian Defense Industries Organization, which is key to supplying goods for Iran's military and missile programs. It has been covertly buying parts and equipment for the Iranian Defense Ministry.
Ascotech is used as a procurement arm of the Iranian Aerospace Industries Organization, which is involved in aircraft and missile programs.
"Ascotech functions under the supervision of Khoozestan steel company mill and has been involved in smuggling of maraging steel and some other parts," said Shahin Gobadi, a National Resistance representative in Europe. Maraging steel is a high-strength alloy used in centrifuges. It is suspected that this company is involved in Iran's nuclear programs.
"More than half of the staff and employees of the company are German. The senior managers all are Iranians," Mr. Gobadi said.
Persia System is a computer- and electronics-hardware manufacturer involved in computer networking and communications in Iran and Germany. According to the National Council sources, several Iranians are working at the company in Germany and are linked to the Aerospace Industries Organization within the Iranian Defense Ministry, the Imam Hossein University of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and has installed equipment in the Iranian Defense Ministry.
"Several months ago, this company sent electronics and communications items and goods for the companies of the Ministry of Defense in Iran," Mr. Gobadi said.
Both the IRGC and Iranian Defense Ministry were sanctioned by the Bush administration on Oct. 25 for their roles in proliferating weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. Gobadi said the front companies are involved in some of the $40 billion in business being carried out between Iran and the European Union.