German police raided locations in several states seeking members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force for allegedly spying on Jewish and Israeli targets, Benjamin Weinthal reported Tuesday for The Jerusalem Post.
Citing Focus, a German online magazine, Weinthal reported that the ten individuals being sought are considered dangerous because the Qods Force employs “killer teams for Iran’s secret service [and] for the Palestinian terrorist organization, Hamas.”
Raids were carried out in the German states of Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Berlin, but no arrests were made.
Weinthal noted that Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanon-based proxy, operates openly in Germany. While it is classified as terrorist group by the United States, Canada, the Arab League, Israel and the Netherlands, Germany has declined to follow suit. As of 2012, Hezbollah is believed to have some 950 members located in Germany.
In December, the German Foreign Ministry rebuked the Iranian ambassador to Germany for his country’s illicit espionage activities against pro-Israel groups. According to the German media, the foreign ministry made it “unmistakably clear to Iran’s ambassador Ali Majedi that legal violations of this form are completely unacceptable and have negative consequences on bilateral relations between Germany and Iran.”
The BfV, Germany’s federal intelligence agency, warned in 2015 that Iran was still trying to procure illicit technology for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, despite then-ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers. German intelligence also reported in 2016 that Iran sought to procure nuclear-related materials in at least half of Germany’s states and was involved in attempts to advance the Islamic Republic’s chemical and biological weapons capabilities. Last year, German intelligence reported that Iran made at least 32 attempts to acquire proliferation-related technologies, possibly in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.
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