Germany-wide police raids have been carried out on suspected Iranian spies. Iran has been linked in the past to spying and assassinating dissidents and targeting Israeli assets, like reported by dw.com.
German authorities on Tuesday conducted searches of homes and businesses belonging to 10 suspected Iranian spies.
The Federal Prosecutors Office ordered the searches after receiving a tip from Germany’s domestic intelligence agency.
The suspects are believed to have spied on persons and institutions “on behalf of an intelligence entity associated with Iran,” the prosecutor’s office said.
No arrests were made during the raids, which were carried out in Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Berlin.
The German magazine Focus, which first reported on the searches, said that the 10 individuals were suspected members of the al-Quds Brigade, the external operations arm of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC).
Iranian agents are believed to regularly spy on Israelis, Jewish institutions, Iranian dissidents and other targets abroad.
Focus reported that the 10 persons are suspected of spying on Israeli and Jewish targets.
Germany authorities have not confirmed the report.
Long history of Iranian espionage
Last April, federal prosecutors filed charges against two men suspected of spying on the opposition People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) on behalf of Iranian intelligence.
The Paris-based MEK is an Islamist-Marxist-feminist militant group seeking to overthrow Iran’s theocratic government. The Iranian government blamed the group for stirring up unrest earlier this month in Iran.
Formerly listed as a terrorist organization by the EU and United States, the MEK has also been accused of carrying out covert operations on behalf of Israel and the United States.
Iran has been accused of assassinating multiple dissents, mostly Kurds and MEK members, throughout Europe.
The Islamic Republic and its Lebanese Shiite ally Hezbollah have also been accused of carrying out multiple deadly attacks on Jewish and Israeli targets abroad.
In 1992, four Iranian-Kurdish opposition leaders were assassinated in a Berlin restaurant by Iranian agents.
The assassination in Berlin, and another three years earlier against Kurdish dissidents in Austria, occurred at a time when the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan was leading a low-level insurgency in Iran.