The German government announced on Friday that Iran’s regime intensified its spying on exiled Iranians living in Germany since the protest movement started against Tehran’s clerical rulers in mid-September.
A central part of Iranian intelligence operations target organizations and people involved in “pro-Jewish and pro-Israeli goals,” noted the German government.
According to a parliamentary information request from the far left-wing Left Party (Die Linke), the federal government said that there have been "increasing indications of possible spying on opposition events and individuals” after the regime’s reported murder of the 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini.
The Islamic Republic’s morality police arrested and allegedly tortured Amini for failing to comply with the nation’s mandatory Islamic dress code that requires a woman to cover her hair with a hijab.
According to the letter, "Opposition groups and individuals ... are considered by the rulers in Iran as a threat to the continued existence of the regime."
The Jerusalem Post reviewed the five-page information letter sent to the Left Party’s MP Martina Renner. Germany’s national intelligence agency estimates that 160 persons in Germany are linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Designation of the IRGC
The US government under the Trump administration classified the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization. According to the information letter, ”The Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which also acts as a secret service, has been active in Germany for more than ten years. Their extensive espionage activities are aimed in particular at pro-Israeli or pro-Jewish goals.”
The Green party foreign minister Annalena Baerbock has refused to designate the IRGC as a foreign terrorist entity. The federal government cited the IRGC's role in hiring a Pakistani man living in Germany, Syed Mustafa, to collect information on pro-Israel advocates in Germany, France and elsewhere in Western Europe.
German prosecutors said the espionage was part of an assassination plot. The Quds Force - an elite branch of the IRGC responsible for extraterritorial operations - paid Mustafa at least €2,052 in July 2015-July 2016. The IRGC frequently outsources its terrorist operations.
The German government said, ”In addition to the USA, Iran has the State of Israel, its representatives and declared supporters to be its enemies. This can also include representatives of Jewish organizations in the diaspora.
That is why spying activities against pro-Israeli and pro-Jewish targets in Germany continue to be part of Iran's intelligence activities.”Despite the IRGC’s planned terrorist attacks against Jewish organizations and Israeli institutions, the new federal German government report titled “ National Strategy against Antisemitism and for Jewish Life” omitted Iran’s regime and its chief strategic ally, Hezbollah, in the 52-page report.
In view of Iran’s ongoing campaign to kill Jews in Germany and to conduct espionage against Jewish and Israeli institutions, it is unclear why Felix Klein, the federal commissioner to combat antisemitism, and the interior ministry failed to single out Iran’s regime dedicated to carrying out terrorist attacks against Jews and Israelis.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, (SWC) spoke to the Post about the "shocking details from German intelligence about Iran's regime’s spying on Jewish organizations," saying that "SWC reiterates its call for a separate report of Dr. Felix Klein on threats from Iran and its lackeys against German Jewry."
German diplomats have participated in celebrations of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution at Tehran’s embassy in Berlin over the years.
The German government said in its response to the Left party that “The Islamic Revolutionary Guards in Germany also carry out procurement activities relevant to proliferation – mostly via front companies and intermediaries. The IRGC is known to have a missile program in Iran. To this end, they are trying to procure corresponding key products from German manufacturers as well.”
Germany’s intelligence agency defines proliferation as the development and spread of weapons of mass destruction (biological, chemical and nuclear). Israel and many Western intelligence agencies accuse Iran’s regime of seeking to build an atomic bomb.