Simultaneous operations were launched in Germany and Turkey to catch a network of smugglers believed to have transferred nuclear equipment they obtained from India and Germany to a nuclear facility in Iran’s Arak city, the Turkish daily Habertürk reported.
The network coordinated hundreds of smuggling operations of nuclear equipment from India, and some 100 smuggling operations of nuclear substances from Germany, through fake companies registered in Istanbul, Turkey.
During the reported seven simultaneous operations in Istanbul, a Turkish citizen of Iranian origin was detained, while all the documents of the companies involved were seized.
In another operation that was conducted in Atatürk Airport, Houssein T., an Iranian who is a key figure in deliveries, was also detained. During the operations in Germany, meanwhile, five Iranian nationals were detained.
Units from Customs Enforcement Directorate reportedly raided the house of an Iranian couple, who have a key role in the network, but were unable to locate them. Multilateral operations are reportedly ongoing for the arrest of the couple.
Also, the data and documents obtained from the raids are currently under examinations and new operations might be launched if necessary, according to the report. Units from Customs raided seven businesses in Istanbul’s Bakırköy, Fatih, Üsküdar, Ümraniye and Sancaktepe districts in simultaneous operations.
While the Turkish government appears to have cooperated with the West in capturing some of the network members, Turkish officials continue to support Iran’s nuclear program.
In late Februaty, the Iranian propaganda agency Press TV reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has once again reaffirmed Ankara’s support for Iran’s right to have a “peaceful nuclear program.”
“Referring to the Tehran Declaration which was issued in May 2010 following trilateral talks among Iran, Turkey and Brazil based on which Tehran agreed to swap its low-enriched uranium for reactor fuel on Turkish soil, Davutoglu said that the US and its Western allies imposed more pointless sanctions against Iran instead of allowing the declaration to move forward,” Press TV reported.