German police guard the Reichstag building, the seat of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag, before the German presidential election in Berlin, February 12, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
German police raided targets across the country that were allegedly, on behalf of Iran’s secret service, conducting surveillance on Israeli and Jewish targets.
Ten people are considered especially dangerous because they are members of the al-Quds Brigade of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Focus Online reported. “Al-Quds forces employ killer teams for Iran’s secret service [and] for the Palestinian terrorist organization, Hamas,” it said.
Focus reported that the German authorities raided locations on Tuesday in the German states of Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Berlin.
No one was arrested. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency provided the information for the searches.
Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, operates legally in Germany. The group, classified a terrorist entity by the US, Canada, the Arab League, Israel and the Netherlands, has 950 operatives in Germany. The Merkel administration has declined to outlaw all of Hezbollah.
The US government designated the Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization in October, while the EU and Germany have not classified it a terrorist group.
Germany’s Foreign Ministry rebuked Iran’s ambassador at a December ministry meeting for illicit espionage activities against pro-Israel groups.
The Foreign Ministry made it “unmistakably clear to Iran’s ambassador Ali Majedi that legal violations of this form are completely unacceptable and have negative consequences on bilateral relations between Germany and Iran,” according to German media outlets.
The reprimand took place on December 22.
Iran employed a Pakistani agent named Mustufa Haidar Syed-Naqfi to spy on Reinhold Robbe, the former head of the German-Israel Friendship Society, as well as on an Israeli- French economics professor in Paris.
A Berlin court sentenced Syed-Naqfi, 31, in March to four years and three months in prison for working for Iran’s intelligence service to spy “against Germany and another NATO member.”
Germany is widely considered a stronghold of Iranian espionage, including regime efforts to obtain missiles and nuclear goods.
Tehran made nearly 40 attempts in 2016 to purchase missile and atomic technology, according to German intelligence reports reviewed by The Jerusalem Post. The NGO Stop the Bomb urged the German government last week to abandon its pro-regime policies and show unconditional solidarity with the Iranian protesters calling for an end to the Islamic Republic.
Between 2007 and 2017, German authorities conducted criminal investigations of 22 cases of alleged Iranian espionage, while Russia’s illicit spy activity was criminally investigated 27 times.