“Spying on people and institutions with special ties to the state of Israel on German soil is an egregious violation of German law,” Germany told Iran.
By: World Israel News Staff
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 meeting occurred last month, but the news came to light on Tuesday after a Pakistani man, who was convicted in March of spying for Iran and sentenced to more than four years in prison, appealed to the German Constitutional Court and was rejected.
The Pakistani, Mustufa Haidar Syed-Naqfi, was convicted of spying on behalf of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (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.
The IRGC is entrusted with Iran’s foreign espionage and sabotage activities.
According to prosecutors, Syed-Naqfi collected large amounts of information including photos and video of the two men, and details of their workplaces, homes, families and acquaintances as well as the neighborhoods and public transportation they frequented. He then allegedly sent the information to a contact called “Mahmud” who passed it on to the Iranian Quds Force unit.
After the conviction, Robbe accused Tehran of plotting to have him murdered and demanded that Berlin call Iran to account, Radio Free Europe reported.
“Spying on people and institutions with special ties to the state of Israel on German soil is an egregious violation of German law,” a ministry official said on Tuesday, noting that Iranian Ambassador Ali Majedi was given a warning on December 22.
The Israel Hayom daily noted in its report that when Israel is summoned for clarification by the German government, the dishonoring incident is reported immediately. This is apparently another incident of the Berlin’s leniency toward Tehran.
The official said Philipp Ackermann, director of the Foreign Ministry’s political section, told Majedi that “such activities would not be tolerated and were completely unacceptable.”
Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that Majedi was warned that spying on Israel would “have negative consequences on bilateral relations between Germany and Iran.”
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.
AP contributed to this report.