German flag flutters half-mast on top of the Reichstag building, the seat of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, March 25. (REUTERS)

By Benjamin WeinthalAugust 13, 2017

The expansion of Iranian regime institutions in Germany has prompted the opening of an inquiry by the Green Party in the Bundestag on Friday to assess Tehran’s anti-Israel and espionage activities.

A Green Party document titled “Direction of Shi’ite associations and their connection to the Iranian regime,” which contains 21 detailed questions on Iran’s influence in Germany, was sent to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration for a response. The Jerusalem Post obtained a copy of the Green Party’s written inquiry.

“What conclusions and consequences did the federal government draw from the anti-Israel positions of the officials of the Islamic Center of Hamburg by their appearance and participation in the al-Qud [Day]’s demonstrations?” Green Party lawmakers asked.

Hamidreza Torabi, who heads the Islamic Academy of Germany – part of the Iranian regime-owned Islamic Center of Hamburg – held a poster in downtown Berlin at the 2016 anti-Israel al-Quds Day rally urging the “rejection of Israel” and terming the Jewish state “illegal and criminal.”

Torabi is a principal organizer of the annual al-Quds Day event in Berlin. The Islamic Center buses Hezbollah and Iranian regime members and supporters to the event, which also serves as a gathering for the BDS campaign against Israel. The al-Quds Day rally calls for the destruction of the Jewish state. Ayatollah Reza Ramezani directs the Islamic Center of Hamburg. Ramezani is the representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in the Federal Republic.

The Green Party politicians asked the German government about Hezbollah supporters who are active in the Islamic Center of Hamburg. Hezbollah’s so-called political wing remains a legal organization in Germany. There are 950 Hezbollah operatives in Germany, according to the 2017 national intelligence report. The US, Canada, Israel and the Netherlands classify Hezbollah’s entire organization as a terrorist entity. The Green Party politicians queried their government about cases of Iranian regime intimidation of exile Iranians.

The Islamic Association of Shi’ite Communities of Germany, which has more than 150 member mosques, is also a subject of the Green Party probe. According to a Bild newspaper report on Friday, the Islamic Center of Hamburg played a key role in the creation of the Shi’ite umbrella organization. Germany’s intelligence agency stresses that pro-Iranian institutions in Germany are “fundamentally instruments of the Iranian state’s leadership that represents a theocratic state doctrine,” Bild wrote.

The Green Party asked about the Al-Mustafa institute in Berlin, which was founded in 2016 and works in cooperation with the radical Islamic Al-Mustafa University in Qum in Iran.

After an exposé in Bild on a workshop of the Islamic Association of Shi’ite Communities at the Al-Mustafa institute funded by the German Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, the government pulled the plug on the event that was designed to fight religious extremism. The family ministry had budgeted €18,225 for the project.

Aras-Nathan Keul, a foreign policy expert in the office of Green Party deputy Volker Beck, who spearheaded the Green Party investigation, told the Post that the Greens expect answers from the federal government by the end of September.

Foundation for Defense of Democracies

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.