Germany’s security forces are pursuing a countywide Iranian espionage network that targeted Israel.
By: AP and World Israel News Staff
German authorities on Tuesday conducted searches countrywide in connection with 10 suspected Iranian spies.
A spokesman for the Federal Prosecutors Office says the suspects are believed to have “spied on institutions and persons in Germany on behalf of an entity associated with Iran.”
The spokesman, Stefan Biehl, told The Associated Press that the raids were prompted by a tip from Germany’s domestic intelligence service. He declined to comment on a report by weekly magazine Focus that the suspects were spying on Israelis in Germany.
Some reports say the spies are members of the elite Quds force, part of the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which is entrusted with Iran’s foreign espionage and sabotage activities.
Just last month, Germany summoned Iran’s ambassador in Berlin to warn the Islamic Republic against gathering intelligence on Israel from inside the country, saying such acts violate German law.
The diplomatic rebuke came after a Pakistani man was convicted in March in a German court of spying for Iran.
The Pakistani, Mustufa Haidar Syed-Naqfi, was convicted of spying on behalf of the IRGC. Syed-Naqfi’s spying was connected to Reinhold Robbe, the former head of the German-Israel Friendship Society, and Daniel Rouach, a French-Israeli professor from the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris University.
Germany’s domestic intelligence service, which handles counter-espionage, highlighted Iran’s spying activities in its annual report in July, saying that Tehran was focused heavily on Israeli and pro-Jewish targets.