Iran’s diplomatic relations with Germany are a bit of an anomaly.
On the one hand, Iran is heavily invested in strengthening ties with Germany through its disproportionately large diplomatic infrastructure in Germany which includes an embassy in Berlin and 3 consulates in Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg. Hamburg also boasts an Iranian chamber of commerce http://www.dihkev.de/en and a Tehran-based spiritual center http://en.izhamburg.com/.
And yet, already back in the 1990’s, the link between Iranian diplomacy and terrorist activities with Germany as its base became quite evident: “The largest European Al-Qods facility was in the Iranian embassy in Germany. The embassy’s third floor had twenty Qods employees coordinating terrorist activities in Europe” (Qods is an elite faction of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps – IRGC).
The influence of the IRGC and Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) in Iranian diplomacy might just be one of Iran’s worst-kept secrets: “Most Iranian foreign officers and diplomats have worked with MOIS, the IRGC, or other security agencies. MOIS works in coordination with the Foreign Ministry in operations carried out abroad, using Iranian embassie for collecting intelligence…Qods is believed to coordinate with MOIS through foreign embassies, charities, and cultural centers in targeted countries.”
It is noteworthy to remember that according to Mohammad Reza Heydari, an ex-Iranian diplomat, most Iranian diplomats are recruited from the IRGC and that figure might reach as high as 80%!
Every once in a while, the link between the IRGC, terrorism and Iranian diplomats is exposed as in the aftermath of the assassination of 4 Iranian Kurdish leaders in the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin in September 1992.
Hossein Mousavian (Iran’s Ambassador in Berlin) and Ali Fallahian (Iran’s Minister of Intelligence) both tried unsuccessfully to release the assassins and transfer them to Iran before the trial.
According to the testimony of Abdel Ghassem Messbahi, a former senior Iranian intelligence official, the assassinations were authorized by the Committee for Special Operations, “a small group made up of the supreme leader, the president, the foreign minister, the minister of intelligence, and the chief of the Revolutionary Guards”.
After the verdict, German severed diplomatic relations with Iran, expelling Moussavian and fourteen of his staff members. The rest of the EU states followed suit in suspending diplomatic relations for six months. Diplomatic relations then resumed as did further evidence of diplomatic involvement in terrorist activities.
In 2007, two of the assassins serving life terms for murder were released in a shady prisoner swap for German citizen Donald Klein imprisoned in Iran. Kazem Darabi, the Iranian national received a hero’s welcome in Tehran by Ali Baqeri, the head of Iran’s Foreign Ministry in Europe.
- Iranian Ex-Diplomat Connects Diplomats to Terrorism (diplomaterrorists.wordpress.com)
- Iranian Diplomatic Infrastructure for Subversion in Germany? (part 2) (shadow-diplomacy.com)
- Iranian Embassy Cover Up for IRGC Operatives in Nigeria (shadows-of-diplomacy.com)
- Family of Iranian Convert in Norway Harassed & Tortured (shadow-diplomacy.com)