In its annual intelligence report for 2020, the Swedish Security Police declared that the Islamic Republic of Iran is seeking Swedish technology for the development of nuclear weapons. This accusation follows last week’s German intelligence report, which claimed that the Iranian government has continued its pursuit to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Both reports have suggested that Tehran is conducting a nuclear programme, a revelation that will likely interfere with the U.S.’s recent talks to re-enter the 2015 Iran nuclear deal they initially abandoned.
The Swedish report named Iran, China, and Russia as the greatest threats to Sweden’s national security for their engagements in espionage and “security-threatening activities.” It also accounted for Iran’s “attempts to influence researchers in Sweden” by seeking information from Swedish universities and attempting to recruit staff members specifically from the Swedish research community. The document labels these actions as efforts to strengthen the Iranian regime’s economic and military powers and fulfill its political agenda. A particularly incriminating section claims that “Iran also conducts industrial espionage, which is mainly targeted against Swedish hi-tech industry and Swedish products, which can be used in nuclear weapons programs. Iran is investing heavy resources in this area and some of the resources are used in Sweden.”
The U.S. is currently in the middle of informal discussions with Iranian representatives in Vienna, to negotiate re-joining the deal with Iran, and relieve the sanctions set by the JCPOA. The JCPOA stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is the 2015 United Nations-backed deal that explicitly prohibits Iran from the development of nuclear weapons. This deal is also what makes the content of the Swedish report so alarming, as it reveals contempt and outright neglect for international policy by the Iranian government.
When asked for an update last Friday, America’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan stated “It is still uncertain as to whether this will culminate in a deal in Vienna.” While officials have not commented on the recent reports, other sources in Vienna are claiming that the revised accord between the U.S. and Iran will allow the Iranian military to enrich uranium for an atomic weapon within the next decade.