Syria and Iran obtain German missile technology thru Russia

November 6th, 2005  

Topic: Syria and Iran obtain German missile technology thru Russia

Syria and Iran obtain German missile technology, magazine says

Munich - Berlin has warned German industry that missile- builders in Iran and Syria are obtaining sophisticated German equipment via criminal, Moscow-based companies, the news magazine Focus reported Saturday.

The equipment was initially being legally exported to Moscow, where the middlemen, posing as legitimate Russian industrial companies and research institutions, were sending it straight to Iran and Syria.

In the report, to hit the streets Monday and released in advance to the news media, Focus said the method was explained in a confidential warning to many German companies to be on the lookout for the ruse.

It said Iran was obtaining measuring devices, propulsion systems and guidance systems to enhance its Shahab 3 medium-range missile. The Shahab 3 is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and could hit targets in Europe since it has a 3,500-kilometre range.

Syria was obtaining such systems to modernize its outdated Russian-built Scud missiles, the magazine said. The Scuds are mainly seen as a threat to Israel.

The Berlin warning named 15 firms with addresses in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Samara which had been involved in such illegal deals in the past. Among them was an institute attached to the State Technical University of Moscow.

It was not clear from the Focus report whether militarily useful equipment had already reached Iran and Syria using the ruse.

dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur