Thursday, December 1, 2011
Germany probing alleged Iran plot to attack U.S. bases on its soil
Prosecutor General confirms report in Bild reported that a German businessman is suspected of espionage for purpose of sabotage.
German prosecutors have opened an inquiry into allegations of an Iranian plot to attack U.S. bases on German soil, prosecutor-general Harald Range confirmed in Karlsruhe on Thursday.
He was referring to a report in the mass-circulation newspaper Bild that a German businessman was suspected of espionage for the purpose of sabotage. He was alleged to have secretly met with Iranian diplomats posted to Berlin, the newspaper said.
It speculated that Iranian agents were preparing to attack U.S. airbases in Germany if the United States took part in any kind of attack on Iran, which the West suspects of making nuclear weapons.
"It is correct that a prosecutor's investigation has been opened about this matter in the newspaper," Range told a news conference.
"We are investigating, but at the same time we can rule out that there is any immediate danger," added Joerg Ziercke, chief of the federal police service.
Last week, current and former U.S. officials revealed that dozens of spies working for the CIA were captured recently in Lebanon and Iran; the revelation came after Iran claimed earlier this year that it had intercepted a major spy ring.
Following the report of a compromised CIA ring in Lebanon, the French intelligence newsletter Intelligence Online indicated in its latest issue that U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, arrived recently in Beirut to probe the affair.
According to Intelligence Online, all CIA officers operating the Beirut station were transferred to Cyprus for security reasons and for further investigations.
On Wednesday, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle recalled the country's ambassador to Iran, the Foreign Ministry in Berlin announced, following an attack by Iranian protesters on the U.K, embassy in Tehran.