Germany blocked export of detonators for Iran nukes

Tuesday, May 6, 2003

LONDON Germany is said to have halted attempts to export nuclear weapons components to Iran.

The German weekly Focus reported on Monday that customs authorities blocked the export of 44 detonators to Iran. The detonators were said to have been required for the assembly of nuclear weapons.

Focus said the export was arranged in November 2002 by two Iranian brothers. The detonators were manufactured by the German company Behlke.

The detonators were then purchased by two German intermediaries, identified as Eva-Marie H. and Harald H. Focus said the intermediaries reported that the detonators were meant for a German customer.

Instead, Focus asserted that the Iranian brothers planned to bring the detonators to Iran. The magazine quoted an internal German Foreign Ministry document that reported the export attempt.

"If the delivery had been successful, Germany's foreign relations would have been threatened, even more so if they were used in Iran," the document said.

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