Germany has charged Mustufa Haidar Syed-Naqfi to four years and three months in prison for spying, according to the Berlin Superior Court. The court found he spied “against Germany and another NATO member”, which has been identified as France, for the Quds Force, a part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
As part of his work in Germany, Syed-Naqfi compiled dossiers on possible targets, including a German lawmaker who also served as the former head of the German-Israeli Society, Reinhold Robbe; and a French-Israeli economics professor, Daniel Rouach. Investigators found detailed dossiers on the men and their daily routines, along with hundreds of photos and video clips. Both of these men have ties to Israel. Many details were included in Power Point presentations, which were part of the prosecutor’s evidence.
Reinhold Robbe told the Bild newspaper that he wasn’t surprised by the alleged espionage and he “will not be intimated”.
The prosecutors’ case including details about the targets’ homes and work places, as well as information about their neighborhoods and the level of security around each of the men. A representative from Germany’s domestic intelligence service, said it received information about the defendant from a reliable source. Though the two men appeared to be the main targets, information was also gathered about the individuals who were close to them.
It is believed that this is part of Iran’s efforts to prepare for a future conflict with the United States and Israel. Syed-Naqfi came to Germany as a student in 2012. He traveled to Iran at least twice, and received approximately $2,237 for his activities. As part of his trips, he would first travel to Pakistan, likely to make it appear that he was visiting home before heading to Iran and meeting his contact, a man known as Mustafa.
Syed-Naqfi did not enter a plea and refused to make a statement to the court during his trial. “The al Quds unit has its own agents…and it considers Israel its arch enemy,” said German prosecutor Michael Greven. There is no indication of how far along the Iranians were in the planning of any attack before Syed-Naqfi was arrested in July 2016. There were no attacks carried out on these two men.
The conviction of this man also demonstrated that Iran is attempting to expand its terrorist activities out of the Middle East and attempting to reach into Europe. It is noteworthy that earlier this year in January the Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) released a statement, which stated, “The assassination plot targeting German politician Reinhold Robbe and spying on a business college in Paris and a professor of this facility, all by the religious fascism ruling Iran, redouble the necessity to end relations with this terrorist and fundamentalist regime, and to expel its agents from these European countries. Inaction vis-à-vis a regime described by the Iranian people as the ‘Godfather of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL)’ has encouraged it to escalate its espionage and efforts to execute terrorist attacks.”
Events of the last few years demonstrate that the regime has taken advantage of diplomatic and economic relations, exchange students and even refugee facilitation, to pursue its objectives. Iran employs non-Iranian agents, in an attempt to evade intelligence agencies, while preventing consequences of criminal espionage and terrorist plots coming back on the regime.
The 2015 Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution report states, “Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) remains the most important element behind the activities against Germany. Its focus is especially on the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran and National Council of Resistance of Iran. Alongside these intelligence and reconnaissance measures against German systems and equipment inside and abroad, first and foremost the interests of Germany’s long-term objectives lie in the fields of foreign policy and security…controlling intelligence activities to obtain information is carried out by the main base of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security in Tehran.”
Targets are not limited to Germany, but individuals and companies throughout Europe.