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

Following is an excerpt from the 30-page intelligence report reviewed by the Legal Insurrection:

Due to the political relaxation, real-world activities, e.g. against oppositionists abroad, are becoming considerably riskier given the political collateral damage to be feared. Cyber attacks might provide an easily deniable and anonymous alternative in this context.

Despite the relaxation of sanctions, efforts to establish foreign business contacts continue to be restrained so that, alternatively, cyber operations may be used as a form of collecting expertise in a targeted way but “beyond the contractual agreement”.

Given that the Iranian educational system focuses on cyber issues and that state entities have privileged access to these resources, the potential for cyber attacks to be committed in Iran will considerably increase in future.

Benjamin Weinthal, a research fellow for the D.C.-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), was the first to report the story 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 Das Abendblatt reported earlier this year.

These espionage activities are not limited to the German armed forces alone, Tehran is targeting 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,” the official press release said.

Germany has emerged as a major safe haven for operatives of the Iran-sponsored terrorist organization Hezbollah. As may as 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.

Berlin ‘strives to keep Iran nuclear deal alive’: Germany’s state-run DW News

[Cover image via YouTube]


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