So, Who Murdered Nisman?

It’s been nearly three months but nobody has an answer to this question. Based on the fact that Nisman was murdered for his relentless investigation into the AMIA bombing that remains unsolved since 1994, there is a good chance that Nisman’s murder might remain unsolved as well.

Too much evidence points to Tehran’s involvement in this murder as in the AMIA bombing. And yet, the Iranian suspects which include top officials such as former presidents, wannabe presidents, IRGC commanders, cabinet ministers etc…are all far from even being investigated.

The Argentinian government has bungled it up once again: instead of demanding that Tehran comes clean and allows the Iranian suspects to be investigated, the government first dismissed Nisman’s murder as suicide and then accused political opposition of murdering him just to make de Kirchner look bad.

This is the cost of maintaining diplomatic ties with Iran: innocent people die while government officials are forced to cover up.

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Bosnia Shows Iranian Diplomacy the Door

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Iranian Diplomats in Bosnia, Jadidi Sohrab & Hamzeh Doolab,  Declared Persona Non Grata

Despite all the fanfare surrounding new Iran President Hassan Rouhani, for the moment it looks as if the West’s closed diplomatic doors to Iran will remain basically shut – at least until the new team delivers on its promises. And so Tehran can be expected to continue searching desperately for windows of opportunity in countries it views as especially vulnerable.

In this context, it should not come as a surprise that Iran often tries its luck in areas boasting local Moslem populations whether they are Shiite or Sunni, in the Balkans or the Caucasus.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that Tehran’s potential “victims” are naïve as to its intentions. Consider Bosnia-Herzegovina, for instance. The historical ties between Iran and Bosnia grew significantly thanks to former Bosnian President (and Islamic fundamentalist) Alija Izetbegovic, reportedly on Tehran’s payroll. It was widely believed that Iran’s influence since then was increasing.

That is, up until a few months ago. In May 2013, two Iranian diplomats, Jadidi Sohrab and Hamzeh Dolab Ahmad, were expelled from Sarajevo  and declared persona non grata for activities “in violation of their diplomatic protocol“. In fact, Sohrab and Ahmad were employed by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and National Security (MOIS) and were intelligence officers suspected of involvement in subversion activities. A third diplomat, Muhsin Bayat Giashi, was expelled in June 2013 for violating immigration laws. As if to admit its wrongdoing, Tehran apparently has not taken reciprocal measures against Sarajevo.

Bosnia, like other states formed after the breakup of Yugoslavia, seeks to join the EU in the future and has aligned itself with EU policy in a host of areas (despite some lingering difficulties). For some reason, the expelled Iranian diplomats did not understand they were operating in hostile territory. Now they – and their superiors – know better.

 

 

Iranian Diplomatic Infrastructure for Subversion in Germany? (part 2)

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“First, We Take Berlin…”

The involvement of Iran’s Germany-based diplomats in inappropriate activities are the strongest in any European or Western country. Not only are they involved directly – as in the case of the Mykonos massacre in Munich (see part 1), or as in the case of a death threat mail from the consulate in Munich against a German-Iranian rapper Shahin Najafi last year. They are apparently part of a larger infrastructure that Iran is developing in Germany.

In its recently issued annual report “for the Protection of the Constitution,” the German Federal Ministry of the Interior places emphasis on the growing influence of Iranian operatives in Germany and determines that Tehran is exploiting the country as a base for activity throughout Europe.

Embassy = IRGC/MOIS Headquarters

According to the report, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence Service and Security (MOIS) and the intelligence department of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) operate out of Tehran’s Berlin embassy – where MOIS has its office. Needless to say, the diplomats at the embassy are instructed to cooperate fully with MOIS/IRGC operatives and, as outlined in our earlier posts, that cooperation includes aiding and abetting subversion activities by IRGC and proxy groups.

The goals of these agencies, the report states, is to monitor opposition groups in Europe and collect information that might help “export the revolution” to Europe. In this context, it makes reference to an ongoing investigation of the activities of MOIS/IRGC’s suspected espionage and threats against opposition leaders.

Iran’s embassy and consulates in Germany are involved, through MOIS/IRGC directives, in developing and maintaining business ties with German firms which view the sanctions as business opportunities. At the most basic level, this activity includes setting up meetings with high ranking Iranian officials – such as securing a speaking opportunity for Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi at a recent conference in Frankfurt on July 10 with German counterparts (including German Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier and Federal Minister of Economics Philipp Rösler).

Money as a Motive for Cooperation

Germany remains the largest EU exporter of goods to Iran; some two-thirds of Iranian industrial firms use machinery and equipment made in Germany, and rely on imports of German spare parts. Apart from general goods and trucks, Germany is also an important base for purchasing knowhow and technologies relevant to Iran’s nuclear program which have become harder to obtain as a result of sanctions.

Exposure of the money trail between Germany and Iran frequently brings to light numerous firms and deals that are directly related to MOIS/IRGC officers or to funds – particularly the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO), managed by Khamenei himself.

The picture emerging from the numerous cases of shipments of dubious content – from weapons to nuclear-related machinery – through German-owned shipping lines and agencies, is that Iran is abusing Germany’s hospitality (and the greed of some of its business people) to strengthen both its subversion activities in Europe and its nuclear program back home.

 

Shadowy Diplomacy

And since MOIS and the IRGC are not only involved but are actually operating from within the Iranian embassy in Berlin, it’s not difficult to figure out that the IRGC-affiliated diplomats are systematically abusing their rights under the Vienna Convention – the very international document meant to protect the integrity (and safety) of diplomats.

This does not mean that every Iranian diplomat in Germany is directly linked to illicit activity. It does mean that Iranian heads of mission are most likely familiar with – and therefore accountable for – the subversive activities of MOIS and the IRGC originating on German soil.