The German Secret Service (BND) helped the Mossad place agents in Middle Eastern countries by providing them with German passports, a former BND employee said. According to the Koelner Stadtanzeiger newspaper, Mossad agents have occasionally posed as German citizens when engaging in delicate missions in Middle Eastern countries. Some of the sensitive missions are supposedly related to airstrike preparations in Iran - an option the Israeli government can not exclude, considering the present nuclear conflict with Teheran. "The number of Mossad employees equipped with German documentation is increasing," said the former senior official of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). Mossad agents are given copies of German identification papers belonging to people who will most likely never leave the European Union, and would never discover that their identities had been utilized. The BND, however, has no influence over the ways in which these documents are used. The practice of Israelis using false German documents has been in use since the 1950s, although the requests have drastically multiplied since 2001, Koelner Stadtanzeiger reported. During the 1990s, Mossad agents often used passports from Canada and New Zealand when traveling in enemy territory, but once the practice became widely known, they stopped. Previously, the Mossad used the identities of dead people, allowing agents to live in enemy states for long periods of time. Due to improved technology, however, such practices are no longer feasible. It is unclear whether the German government is aware of the Mossad's practices, as no comments have been made by either the PKK (Parliamentarian Control Commission) or the BND.