The Central Council of Jews in Germany is appalled by the fact that ten recently uncovered Iranian spies were spying on Israeli and Jewish targets, Focus Magazine reported Friday. “This action must not go unpunished,” Council Chairman Josef Schuster told Focus.
The Islamic Republic, which is apparently behind the spy ring, has disqualified itself from being a partner for the German government in view of these espionage missions, Schuster stressed. With regard to the rulers in Tehran, he said, Germany should not put its economic interests above the country’s domestic security.
Tehran’s spies operated in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Bochum, Darmstadt and Weilheim. On Tuesday morning this week, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office raided the apartments and business premises of ten suspected Iranians, who carried Afghan, Turkish and Pakistani passports.
Among the potential targets of the Iranian intelligence service is apparently the office of the politically influential American Jewish Committee (AJC) in Berlin, whose representatives were informed weeks ago by the Federal Criminal Police Office about the spying.
According to Focus, the AJC is now demanding the expulsion of Iranian ambassador Ali Majedia, who has already been summoned to the Foreign Office two days before Christmas Eve and requested to tell his bosses in Tehran to immediately stop their espionage against German interests.
An orthodox Jewish community located near Alexanderplatz, a large public square and transport hub in Berlin, was being spied on by the Iranians agents and its rabbis were followed, Focus reported, citing federal investigators. The Jewish sports club Maccabi in Berlin, established in 1898, was also on the list of the Iranian spy ring.
All three Jewish institutions were presumably being studied as potential targets for retaliatory strikes by Iran.
A senior state security official told Focus, “Iran is expanding. In the event of a military conflict in the Gulf, with the participation of the US and Israel, Germany and Europe would offer well-documented targets for retaliatory attacks, including murder and bombing.”
According to German authorities on the day of the raids, the suspected Iranians belong to a special unit of the Quds Force, which kills opponents of the Ayatollahs’ regime worldwide. Its agents are trained in combat on land and underwater, and are also paratroopers and explosives experts.