'Iran planning attacks on US forces in Germany'

Businessman linked to Iranian embassy suspected of spying for Tehran, planning sabotage.

December 2, 2011 02:38
4 minute read.
US Army soldier in Heidelberg, Germany

US Army soldier in Germany 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

BERLIN – Iran plans to attack US armed forces stationed in Germany in the event of a US attack on its nuclear facilities, the mass-circulation Bild daily reported on Thursday.

Authorities are investigating a German businessman suspected of espionage with intent to commit sabotage who they believe is in contact with the Iranian Embassy, according to the report.

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German Attorney-General Harald Range was quoted by Bild as saying “We have launched an investigation and taken operational measures.”

On November 2, a investigative judge ordered a search of the businessman’s house. Jerusalem Post telephone and e-mail queries to Iran’s embassy were not returned.

Bild obtained a copy of the judge’s order to pursue the inquiry against the businessman and the Embassy. The document outlining the inquiry and allegations noted that there is “probable cause of agent activity in connection with the goals of sabotage.”

The investigation is continuing and material still needs to be examined by the German authorities.

A spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor’s Office told the Post on Thursday that “an arrest warrant has not been issued” in connection with the businessman. There are no “indications that in Germany an attack against US American installations was planed or will be planned.”

According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, the authorities received references to a possible attack that need to be “dispelled.”

There are no additional “operational measures” unfolding at this time from the authorities, according to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.

Dr. Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, a leading authority on the Islamic Republic’s terrorist entities and operations, told the Post during a telephone interview on Thursday that its “terrorist activities were always organized and directed from Iranian embassies.”

He cited the case of Mykanos, a restaurant in West Berlin where four Iranian Kurdish dissident were murdered in 1992 by Iran’s regime. A Berlin court convicted Iranian agents and attributed the executions to Iran’s government.

According to Wahdat-Hagh, who has a copy of the Berlin court decision, Kazem Darabi, the organizer of Mykonos murders, worked for Iran’s intelligence agency VEVAK.

“He had contact to Iran’s Embassy – and was clearly a part of the Iranian terrorist cell that was led by the Islamic Republic’s embassy in Berlin,” Wahdat-Hagh said.

The head of Germany’s Federal criminal agency (BKA) said there was “no immediate danger” in terms of the slated attacks against American military facilities.

According to Bild, Iran planned to paralyze US military logistics and supplies in Germany. A possible target would have been the US Air Force’s Ramstein Base. It hosts the headquarters of the US Air Force in Europe, has a section for NATO, and is the largest US community overseas at some 53,000 people.

In an e-mail to the Post on Thursday, Nasrin Amirsedghi, a German-Iranian author and intellectual, wrote, “It is no secret, and there has already been a great deal written about in the German media regarding terrorist attacks and serial killings of exile Iranians abroad through the foreign intelligence activities of VEVAK (MOIS: The Ministry of Intelligence and Security).”

She added that, in addition to the killings at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin, there was the assassination of the internationally famous artist Fereydoun Farrokhzad in Bonn in 1992.

“These murders could not have taken place without connections to the Iranian embassies,” Amirsedghi said.

The report came amid diplomatic tensions between Germany and Iran in the aftermath of Tuesday’s storming of the British Embassy compound in Tehran.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry summoned Iranian Ambassador Ali Reza Seikh Attar for a warning because of the violation of diplomatic protocol and international law.

According to a statement on the website of the German Foreign Ministry, “Guido Westerwelle condemned sharply the storming of the British Embassy in Tehran on November 29.

“Germany stands on the side of Great Britain and is not prepared to accept these types of attacks. Iran has the obligation to protect international institutions.

The Iranian ambassador in Berlin was summoned because of the attack to the Foreign Ministry.”

Germany has also reduced its diplomatic staff in Tehran since the assault on the British Embassy.

Philipp Missfelder, spokesman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, issued a statement on Wednesday to the Post: “By recalling the German ambassador, the federal government is sending a strong signal to the Iranian government. The excess of violence against our British friends is absolutely unacceptable. The Iranian government has disregarded its obligations under public international law to prevent any violations of the physical integrity of diplomatic missions under all circumstances. It has positioned itself even further outside the established norms of international law. This breach of international law must have consequences.

At this critical point, Germany stands firmly with our partner Great Britain.”

Missfelder, one of the strongest proponents of an ironclad Israel-German relationship, added, “We have to continue on the path of harsher sanctions. The latest report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should have been eye-opening to even the last of the hopeful. The Iranian regime is pursuing its goal of having nuclear weapons. An Iranian nuclear bomb would be a disaster.

We have to prevent its construction by all means.

Therefore, we now need to toughen our diplomatic stance and stricter sanctions against Iran. To be effective, sanctions have to hit Iran’s oil and gas industry, as well as the Iranian Central Bank.”

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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