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January 12, 2017

Iran Planned Terror Attacks Against German Pro-Israel Advocates

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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Ruler of Iran


The Islamic Republic of Iran planned to assassinate a German pro-Israel advocate, according to The Jerusalem Post(“Iran planned terror attacks against Israel advocates in Germany,” Jan. 7, 2017).

Journalist Benjamin Weinthal, citing German media reports, noted that German federal prosecutors indicted a 31-year-old Pakistani named Syed Mustafa on Jan. 2, 2017 for espionage. Mustafa, a German Aerospace Center employee, is accused of working for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Tehran reportedly paid Mustafa to gather information on the former president of the German-Israel Friendship Society, Reinhold Robbe. West German Broadcasting (WDR) reported, “Iran’s intelligence agency’s goal was to assassinate.” Mustafa created a “movement profile” of Robbe and collected information on the headquarters of the German-Israeli Friendship Society. German authorities called these activities a “clear indication of an assassination attempt.”

In addition to his work on behalf of the German-Israel Friendship Society, Robbe is also a former German Social Democratic Party deputy and parliamentary commissioner for the country’s armed forces.

The Jerusalem Post noted:

“The indictment states Mustafa had been in contact with a person from Iran’s intelligence agency responsible for espionage in Europe since 2011. German media said Mustafa’s espionage activity was part of a larger Iranian operation to target pro-Israel groups in France, Germany and other European countries.”

Mustafa is also accused of spying on a French-Israeli professor at a business college in Paris.

In addition to Mustafa, another Pakistani suspect was arrested. The unnamed individual was later released due to insufficient evidence—but only after he reportedly scrubbed his computer server of possibly incriminating information.

WDR reported that one theory for Iran’s targeting of European pro-Israel groups is a desire to retaliate in the event of an Israeli strike against Tehran’s nuclear facilities.

As Weinthal highlighted, “Tehran’s targeting of a German politician is the first reported case of an Iranian intelligence operation working to assassinate a government representative in the Federal Republic.”

It is, however, a sign of Iran’s increasingly active intelligence operations on European soil. Weinthal noted, “Iran has a vast espionage network in the country [Germany] which coordinates with its embassy in Berlin.” In July 2016, a 32-year old man was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for spying on Iranian dissidents in Germany.

Iran assassinated Iranian dissidents in Germany and Austria in the early 1990s and late 1980s, as CAMERA has noted (see, for example “Iranian Agent Hides in Washington Post as U.S. Prof,” Sept. 8, 2015). Many of those attacks were both planned out of Iran's Berlin embassy.

Henry Kissinger, the former U.S. Secretary of State, once argued that the Islamic Republic has to decide, “Whether it is a nation or a cause.” If Kissinger’s dictum is true, Iran’s decision seems clear.

Posted by SD at January 12, 2017 01:59 PM

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