Iran’s Cyber Threat to Germany

While Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is committed to saving Iran’s faltering economy in the wake of the US sanction, Tehran is emerging as a major cyber security threat to Germany and the West, the BfV German domestic intelligence service warned.

When it comes to the cyber espionage and terrorism, Iran is now in the same league as China and Russia, according to a recent report released by the regional  federal intelligence agency for the state of Brandenburg. “Iran has considerably expanded its cyber capabilities,” the intelligence agency said.

Besides China and Russia, Iran was now the biggest threat to the German military and industrial sector. These countries “have increasingly been using cyber-attacks to collect information on government agencies, business enterprises, or research institutes,” report said.

“The threat potential of Iranian cyber-attacks has significantly increased in recent years,” the intelligence assessment said.
Benjamin Weinthal, a research fellow for the D.C.-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), was the first to report the news in the Jerusalem Post.

The latest revelation is part of a series of intelligence assessments warning of the growing threat posed by Iran to Germany. Tehran is running an elaborate espionage operation in Germany, penetrating German military and government agencies. “The Federal Prosecutor is presently investigating several espionage cases involving Iranian spy service,” the German newspaper DasAbendblatt wrote earlier this year.

These espionage activities are not limited to the German armed forces alone, Tehran is targeting the country’s technology sector in order to upgrade its nuclear and chemical weapons programs. 

Iranian agents had been involved in stealing missile guidance technology and electronics for its nuclear weapons delivery system, the intelligence service for the German state of Baden-Württemberg revealed in a 2018 Report. Other German spy services have come to similar conclusions.

These warning and revelations have done nothing to change Chancellor Merkel’s attitude towards the Iranian regime. After German military caught an Iranian spy within its ranks, Berlin issued a ‘strongly worded’ statement. 

The German diplomats spoke to “the Iranian representative in unequivocal terms and expressed their great concern over the alleged spy activity,” said the official press release.

Germany has emerged as a major safe haven for operatives of the Iran-sponsored terrorist organisation Hezbollah. As many of 1050 Hezbollah members are operating in Germany, the latest government assessment said. Merkel government’s decision to allow Hezbollah to run its operations under the guise of the ‘political wing’ has been misused by the pro-Iranian terrorist group for recruitment, money laundering and fund raising.

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