Iran is responsible for a significant amount of espionage activity in Germany over the past decade, and is responsible for planning terrorist attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets, the Jerusalem Post reports.
In a letter sent to a Left Party deputy from German’s interior ministry, the federal government launched 22 criminal investigations concerning Iran’s illegal espionage activity – more than China and Turkey who were suspected in 15 spy cases each. Only Russia, with 27 cases, is involved in more suspected espionage activity than Iran.
In one case, German prosecutors allege that Haidar Syed-Naqfi was ordered to identify Jewish and Israeli institutions in Germany and other Western European countries as potential targets for terrorist attacks. For example, he was accused of monitoring the headquarters of a Jewish newspaper in Berlin. Syed-Naqfi also identified several Israel supporters, including the former chief of the German-Israel Friendship Society and a French-Israeli business professor. German authorities believe his preparations were “a clear indication of an assassination attempt.”
Between July 2015 and July 2016, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) al-Quds Force paid Syed-Naqi more than $2,200.
Half of Germany’s state governments reported Iranian attempts to acquire material related to nuclear activities in 2015, the Post reports. An examination of intelligence sources in 2016 also produced new revelations surrounding Iran’s chemical and biological weapons programs.
Iran pursued German businesses in the Rhineland-Palatinate state seeking dual-use goods that could be “used for atomic, biological and chemical weapons in a war,” according to that state’s intelligence report.
Last month, Bahrain security authorities arrested members of an Iranian-sponsored terrorist cell, accusing them of planning to assassinate senior government officials. The IRGC reportedly provided military training to several cell members.
Iran has been accused of plotting terrorist attacks in recent years – mainly through proxies like Hizballah and IRGC’s Quds Force – in countries such as Egypt, Cyprus, Georgia, Thailand, India and others. In July 2012, a bus bomb widely attributed to Hizballah killed five Israeli tourists and a bus driver in Bulgaria.
In October 2011, the United Stated disrupted an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington D.C. and bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in the U.S. capital.