Germany recalls Iranian ambassador to protest plot targeting Jews

The German Foreign Ministry confirms informing European partners and European Union institutions about the file and that they are working on the following steps 

The German Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that it had summoned the Iranian ambassador following a verdict concluding that a plan to set fire to a Jewish synagogue in Bochum in 2022 was devised with the assistance of Iranian state agencies, which Tehran denies, as unprecedented tensions with the West continue amid the bloody war in Gaza and accusations against the Revolutionary Guards of fueling conflicts in the region.

The ministry stated to X that “the written justification for the verdict is now available. We have just summoned the Iranian ambassador in this regard.”

In December 2023, a German court sentenced a German of Iranian origin to two years and nine months in prison for planning an attack on the Bochum synagogue. The Düsseldorf court found that the attack had been prepared with the assistance of “Iranian state agencies”.

Hours after the verdict, the German Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian chargé d’affaires to condemn the involvement of Iranian agencies in the planning, which Berlin considers part of the highly prohibited antisemitism.

Three months later, the German ministry received the written conclusions of the court, prompting it to summon the ambassador, as announced Wednesday. The Foreign Ministry added Wednesday, “We are immediately informing our European partners and EU institutions and studying the next steps.”

German justice stated that the convicted, a 36-year-old man, had planned to target the synagogue but ended up throwing a firebomb at a nearby school building in November 2022, causing no injuries. He was immediately arrested.

In response to the summoning of its diplomat in December, Iran summoned the German ambassador to protest “baseless accusations” made by the German judiciary, as tensions between the two countries begin to escalate.

This is not the first time that Iranian authorities have been accused of plotting attacks against opponents and activists abroad, where Belgian courts in 2022 convicted an Iranian diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, for planning an attack on an Iranian opposition rally in France in 2018 before being released as part of a deal.

Iranian intelligence services have also planned attacks against Israeli interests and citizens in several countries, including Eastern European countries and Turkey, where many attacks were thwarted before execution.

With escalating tensions due to the aftermath of the Israeli war in Gaza, Western fears of increasing attacks targeting Jews or Israeli citizens in Europe are intensifying despite warnings against antisemitic activities.

Last year, Berlin announced that it had been investigating since 2018 at least 9 cases involving 24 Iranians suspected of espionage for the Iranian intelligence services.

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