Saturday, 11 June 2016
This article was first published in German language in Neues Deutschland and translated to English by Iran Probe.
High court investigates two individuals suspected of spying for Iran
Spy, or victim of German surveillance? 2nd criminal branch of high court in Berlin must decide on two Iranians.
It is said the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (VEVAK / MOIS) is secretly controlling many Iranian dissidents in Berlin.
Around five thousand Iranians, many of whom living in Berlin for a few decades, with some fleeing the Shah’s regime or that of the mullahs. They have established a strong cultural society and many know each other personally. The majority of them are linked due to similar fates. They are alive hoping to one day be able to return to an Iran free of terror and crackdown. Currently, two of the individuals are suspected of spying for the VEVAK / MOIS. It is said from 2013 to 2015 Meisam P., 32, and Saeed R., 33, provided information to the VEVAK / MOIS on dissidents living in Berlin and Cologne.
The VEVAK / MOIS is mainly focused on gathering information on the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MeK) in Germany. The Iranian intelligence apparatus has established a network in all countries where Iranian dissidents are present. The charges raised by the federal prosecutor in this regard are based on gathering information from all continents. These individuals focus their monitoring in the countries of Albania and Iraq. German officials have registered telephone calls between these individuals. It appears insignificant information about various people, their place of residence, physical conditions, links with the PMOI/MeK or visits by aunts, uncles and friends. All in all, they provide a relatively precise view of the Iranian opposition movement in Germany.
Guilty or Innocent?
The suspects’ lawyers are assuming their clients are innocent. The suspects, silent about their charges, had long phone calls with each other on a daily basis and are claiming to have discussed God and the world (anything possible). However, they were specifically talking about the Iranian community in Germany. Of course, there were names discussed in this regard, and the pros and cons of the opposition in exile. The two suspects had known each other ever since they were juveniles, and their parents and relatives were killed in Iran. They were stationed in refugee camps and boardinghouses, and became PMOI/MeK members. Saeed’s lawyer says since the phone conversations were mainly conducted in Persian, their native language, much of the interpretation was wrong. For example, the surveillance picked up a sentence: “He is fat,” and it is interpreted as “He is in Poland.” This lawyer claims his client has been summoned to court without any basis. It was ordinary conversations between two individuals, and not for a specific security organ. To make a correct assessment of the phone calls’ content, all of the recorded phone conversations must be evaluated in court. The hearings will continue.
The NCRI has welcomed the court hearings and concurrently called for the court to condemn the Iranian VEVAK / MOIS minister as the main source of espionage on dissidents. It is said the disclosed details are merely a tip of the iceberg of the Iranian espionage apparatus.
The Iran secret service in Berlin has a very bad image. Iran’s intelligence agents (SAVAK, from 1957 to 1979), were seen in black clothing attacking protesting college students with wooden sticks during the Shah’s 1967 visit to West Berlin. Following the Islamic revolution and the fall of the Shah in 1979, the intelligence service was reorganized and intensified their attacks on the opposition. It was a state-sponsored terror attack when Iranian regime murderers in 1992 killed four Kurdish dissidents meeting in the Mykonos restaurant. The prosecution of the murderers lasted 3½ years until 1997, and the Iranian government and intelligence service were also accused.